Whitehall calls for people to report those breaking new lockdown laws were met with derision today as the government looks to pass a bill in parliament that would allow them to break international law.
A Home Office minister encouraged people to contact police if they see their neighbours not complying with new coronavirus restrictions as the “rule of six” comes into force in England.
From Monday, any social gathering of more than six people is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to both indoor and outdoor settings.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said concerned neighbours should ring the non-emergency police phone number to report violations.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are in discussions about what reporting mechanisms there might be, but there is obviously the non-emergency number that people can ring and report issues they wish to.”
Pressed on whether that would involve reporting a gathering of seven or more in a neighbour’s garden, Mr Malthouse said: “It is open to neighbours to do exactly that through the non-emergency number, and if they are concerned and they do see that kind of thing, then absolutely they should think about it.”
But his pleas were met with widespread condemnation on social media. Here are some of the best responses:
Today from the government, a summary:— David Schneider (@davidschneider) September 14, 2020
“Don’t meet up as more than 6 people or you’ll be breaking the law”
“Vote for our bill to break the law”
Can I report a govt for breaking international law, or does the law only apply to little people?— Rachel Ryder (@RachelRyder101) September 14, 2020
What if they feel people are breaking the law in a “specific and limited way”? https://t.co/ymvampFlLi— Mark Worgan (@worgztheowl) September 14, 2020