‘We need clarity on lockdown’

31 March 2021

The chair of Gwent Police Federation has backed the national chair’s call for “crystal clear” guidance as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Steve Thorpe says the Welsh Government needs to provide clarity for the public and police themselves as it prepares for a review of lockdown measures tomorrow (1 April).

It is expected to announced that all pupils in schools, colleges and other education will return from 12 April, and that non-essential retail and close contact services will also re-open on that date.

Steve said: “There’s a danger that a lack of clarity as lockdown is eased and new rules come into play that undermines the huge effort it’s taken to get this far.

“The rules have been changing constantly throughout the pandemic but the vast majority of people have been working with us to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the public.

“However, we’re entering a crucial phase as the mass vaccination programme continues to be rolled out and we head towards the summer and the restrictions start to ease.

“We need the guidance to be crystal clear so that the public – and police officers – know what is expected of them and what they can and can’t do.”

Steve’s comments come after the national chair, John Apter, appeared on Good Morning Britain and Sky News.

John was discussing lockdown easing in England which began on Monday. Changes to guidance included groups of six people or a group of any size from two households can meet outdoors and the resumption of organised outdoor sports activities.

He said: “There are obviously differences between the English rules and those from the Scottish and Welsh Governments, so there is Organised outdoor sports activities can resume, as can outdoor childcare, and some confusion and we’re used to that. The problem is that this causes frustrations and my colleagues bear the brunt of that out on the streets. 

“There’s been an awful lot of confusion about what’s happening, and that is why I am calling on the Prime Minister and the devolved governments to be crystal clear on the guidance.” 

John also repeated his call for police officers and other frontline workers to be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine, saying: “We have some large scale events coming up in the coming months where hundreds, if not thousands, of police officers will be deployed around the country and yet none of them are being prioritised for the vaccine. It’s a real betrayal by the Government.”