back to article Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

There's a reason why the UK doesn't have a mandatory national ID card despite numerous efforts by the authorities to impose one: it's because Brits can't stand the use of petty power. But that urge, the drive of curtain-twitching, council-calling busybodies to triumphantly impose their will is still there, just waiting for an …

  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Unhappy

    petty power

    The comments on their twitter page are saying much the same thing, albeit more succinctly:

    "I lost a grandmother to Coronavirus. In 2013 ... But f**k me I'd lose her over again rather than have my son grow up in an informant-led police-state."

    I predict a rash of reports about police walking around together but not keeping 2m apart...

    1. Imhotep

      Re: petty power

      Here in rural Tennessee, our town's cops have:

      Parked cruisers in the local parks and outside some stores to provide wireless access points for those that need access.

      In the parks, watch that the walkers, joggers, etc maintain distance on the trails. All I've seen them have to do is wave and say "Hey, how're yall?"

      We're getting a rapid test center (30 minutes) to check for the virus.

      A little common sense and a desire to help go a long way.

      1. ThomH

        Re: petty power

        Across the Hudson from NYC in commuter-belt New Jersey, the police are also to be spotted parked next to various parks, all of which are cordoned off, and patrolling the riverfront but I've yet to see them do anything much, really. Several weeks ago when all this was first kicking off a friendly sheriff warned me that I was strolling through a park they had just come to seal up and helpfully suggested an open exit.

        I guess they're ready to spring into action if they spot a bunch of people forming a spontaneous social event rather than just getting out of the house for a half hour.

        1. NeilPost Bronze badge

          Re: petty power

          CV-19 Flash-mob ??

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: petty power

            Whoop whoop!

          2. Eddy Ito

            Re: petty power

            Is that where politicians gather in the park wearing nothing but a trench coat and collectively expose themselves to anyone who dares come near? Haven't we suffered enough?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: petty power

      Since when is "walking the dog" not essential. Try telling the dog that. If he/she listens, expect your carpets to be soiled and furniture shredded.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: petty power

        Our dog get two walks of around an hour every day and if he doesnt get them he tries to do the distance indoors! Fortunately I have 16 acres of smallholding to walk him in. I say walk cos that's what I do - he runs flat out for most of the time, and even in winter jumps in the river to cool off. I still piss myself laughing when I remember the noise he made when the river froze over!

        1. kpanchev

          Re: petty power

          Do you have a labrador by any chance? I am just so sorry I could not take a picture of my labrador's face when fe first tried to jump into a frozen puddle only to slide off...

    3. Irongut Silver badge

      Re: petty power

      > reports about police walking around together

      Funny you should say that, I passed two coppers walking down my street earlier. They were not 2m apart and nor did they leave me any room to pass them. They didn't appear to be related but maybe they live together? I was going to ask if they questioned me but they just ignored me and continued chatting as they enjoyed their walk.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: petty power

        That was Nigel and Jeremy. They're married strippers probably roaming the streets looking for the last hen party.

        Britain's answer to Mad Max.

        The days of wearing S&M gear as daily clothing are coming and we're all going to turn gay and be fabulous together.

        I'll get my arseless chaps, mines the one with a poodle attached by his lead. *tut* Aww isn't he lovely. *skips away and blows a kiss* taraaa!

        *bumps into a long haired nerd on the way out with a Doom Eternal shirt on, purses his lips and looks him up and down*

        Oh sweetie...

        *Skips on*

        1. Spamfast
          Headmaster

          Re: petty power

          I'll get my arseless chaps

          I'll have to check my old VHS tapes of The Virginian but aren't all chaps arseless? (The chaps in the British & US governments who are nothing but arses notwithstanding.)

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: petty power

      Do these nosy "turn 'em in" neighbors and overly-aggressive cops wear BROWN SHIRTS by any chance?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: petty power

        Nope - black.

        They're called Puritans - they can't stand to see anyone else enjoying themselves.

        This summer, we're celebrating their departure from the UK 400 years ago. Apparently, they went west to spread their hate of others. Still going strong by all accounts...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone got a list of police officers in the Cambridge area?

    1. hittitezombie

      Try 39 Parkside, Cambridge CB1 1JG.

      A lot congregate there.

      1. Aqua Marina

        I can see a rise in reports of companies streaming if this tweet of an empty streaming comedy club being raided is anything to go by.

        https://twitter.com/JOE_co_uk/status/1244295903248289792?s=20

  3. Steve Button

    Wear face protection?

    Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

      Source:

      Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

      C.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

        "Oh bore off. Source? How about the United States fucking government?"

        You usually don't listen to them and spend all your time moaning about how much they upset you. Now they are your best friends? sigh...

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

          I'm referring to the CDC, yes.

          "spend all your time moaning about how much they upset you"

          If by moaning, you mean standing up to government and power - tech or otherwise - and scrutinizing it, then yes, we do moan a lot.

          C.

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

            Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

            Some of us are American citizens, some permanent residents, some legal immigrants, but one thing is clear: it is un-American to not probe and demand more from our elected officials.

            Has anyone informed the President of this?

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Big Brother

              Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

              "Has anyone informed the President of this?"

              I send him e-mails 3 or 4 times per week since just before that first 15 day period ended, saying "LET US WORK" and things of THAT nature (usually with bullet points as to why). At some point I may start printing letters and putting stamps on them, if that helps get the message across.

              Governor "Nuisance" of Cali-fornicate-you also gets FAXes sent from me, usually in LARGE LETTERS (100 point Hulkbuster font of course) saying LET US WORK! END THE SHUTDOWN NOW!

              If enough people do this sort of thing, politicians actually worry... in many cases they CAN be recalled (especially in Cali-fornicate-you!).

              Trump never really ordered full economic shutdowns. Governors did that. Trump may have to ORDER THEM TO STOP IT though... (it's taking WAY TOO LONG - bad models, too many excuses, and "those who love power": are the biggest problems).

              1. FuzzyTheBear
                FAIL

                Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                What haven't you understood ? This is not the time to go to work .. this is time to save lives. True the american system has no social net that's worthy of the name , true the USA dont have socialised medecine .. this is all costing you an arm and a leg .. but hey .. you just had to think forward and elect people that care about people .. tough

                1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                  Megaphone

                  Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                  what havent _I_ understood? what haven't YOU understood??!!!

                  a) the purpose of shutdowns was to prepare hospitals so they wouldn't be overwhelmed. This has been done, MORE than sufficiently [in some places they are LAYING OFF hospital workers, not enough demand]

                  b) it's a VIRUS, and there's only ONE way to stop a virus: HERD IMMUNITY

                  c) shutting down for MORE THAN 3 WEEKS ALREADY is MORE THAN JUST EXCESSIVE.

                  The article gets it right when it talks about people who LOVE THEIR POWER too much that they (essentially) MUST WIELD IT!

                  And that's the point. We are SUPPOSED to be living in FREE societies, and FREE PEOPLE TAKE RISKS because, after all, we have NOT sacrificed OUR freedom for an ILLUSION of "Safety and Security" - until NOW...

                  1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                    Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                    Approximately everything that you have said is incorrect. Would it be useful to discuss why in detail, or do you already know?

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                    The link below shows the expected outcome (in mid March) of various courses of action in the UK. It comes from Imperial College London:

                    Imperial researchers model likely impact of public health measures

                    None of the options are good - all of them eventually overwhelm the health service capacity by multiple times.

                    The US is significantly less prepared for the imminent catastrophe.

                    See here to watch it unfold in your own country.

                    In this case, your "freedom" won't save you - indeed, it will probably make things considerably worse.

                  3. Bluto Nash

                    Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                    Quite a bit of difference between "herd immunity" and "natural selection," the latter of which I take it is actually what you're implying. Get a vaccine together, inoculate the populace, and THEN you have herd immunity.

                    Assuming you don't allow the antivaxxers to get their say.

                  4. Geoffrey W

                    Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                    Bob, if your posts are in any way indicative of your behavior IRL, then...See Ya! Been nice reading your insightful comments and measured thoughts. Lets meet up in the next life and compare notes about how it all went down.

                    Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! It's the American way!

                  5. Mooseman Silver badge

                    Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                    Herd immunity works if the virus isn't hugely contagious (guess what?) and you have a vaccine.

                    Can you link reports of hospitals laying off staff? No? Lockdown was NOT to allow hospitals to prepare, it was to stop the health system being overwhelmed by a tsunami of cases. ie to slow the progress of the disease.

                    You want to be free? Go work in a Covid 19 ward and do some good if you can't say anything sensible.

          2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

            I am sorry. I have much admiration for the US - and have lived and worked there for a respectable amount of time, but NO, the 'American way' does not include 'standing up to government and power - tech or otherwise - and scrutinizing it' - although some very decent and informed Americans (as in the rest of the world) do so. You seem to be living in an alternative universe.

          3. paulll

            Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

            "the American way is standing up to government and power"

            Well, no, though. Country keeps electing morons. When Dubya got in all the sensible Americans bitched about it. It's well-established that high voter turn-out means Republicans don't get in. And yet, here we are, post-2016. Not even being arsed to vote against something as patently, deeply odious as a Trump Presidency is not, "standing up to government."

            1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

              Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

              When the Democrats put up Hilary they were asking to get Trump. The second worst presidential candidate in history won.

              1. Claverhouse Silver badge

                Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                'Better Hitler than Stalin'

                That night was glorious to watch the freaks in the Javits Center achieve hubris, and I was thrilled to hear them squeal; but I knew the price was a terrible one.

              2. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

                Clinton won the popular vote by about 3 million.....

          4. jason 7 Silver badge

            Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

            "I dunno where you're from but, man, the American way is standing up to government and power - tech or otherwise - and scrutinizing it."

            Yeah right. One thing the world has seen is that mostly Americans are all mouth and no trousers and do whatever their Gubmint tells them.

            Just like anyone else. You ain't in any way 'exceptional'.

          5. NeilPost Bronze badge

            Re: "Now they are your best friends? sigh..."

            As El Reg is global, I’d expect advice - on anything - to be localised as appropriate.

            I do agree on the shooting of Social Distancing Miscreants - though note it made little difference on 28 Week’s later. The fuckwits always sneak through....

            It would have been be useful in Tesco (UK) this morning. A lady was reprimanding an ugly chav mother and similar fat child about social distancing in the aisles and not following the directional arrows around the shore and got a sharp “fuck off” in thanks.

      2. I3N
        Pint

        Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

        The great nation-state of California says so ...

        As a citizen of said great nation-state, good enough for me ...

        Looks like Britain is heading for a tough spot ... take care and take action to flatten the curve ...

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

          We are no the only ones......

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

          The "flattening the curve" mantra is just a means of dividing and conquering the population - a means of getting social media warriors outraged to divert attention from the government's lack of preparedness for a risk that has been predicted for decades.

          The outcome will just be the same, albeit delayed by a few months.

          Pick a line...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

        They govern fucking now? Those damn puritans!

      4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Oh bore on

        The layout in the article implies the face mask advice came from the UK government (it doesn't, but does come from the CDC). US government websites are not something I take at face value any more because they are rectified to match statements from Trump's son in law.

        The value of masks is not straightforward. You can find evidence - at leat such as is available - here. When health experts selected by the UK government have talked about masks they said things like "only wear a mask if requested to do so by a medical professional" and "There is a shortage. Please do not make it worse by buying masks unless you really need them." If this advice changes I would like to hear about it - with a link to the source.

      5. Imhotep

        Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

        "Oh bore off"?

        I think I get the general intent, but what does bore mean in that context?

        (I like to keep my repertoire of abuse current.)

      6. Irongut Silver badge

        Re: "Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?"

        > How about the United States government?

        Odd, I thought El Reg was British and it was the UK the article was (mostly) discussing.

    2. A K Stiles Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Wear face protection?

      Not currently UK recommendation (though there is a growing grumble that it could be helpful, at least to protect others from you being infected). I see from the byline that Kieren is in San Francisco and I suspect that there is a lean to masking up in those parts of the world, so I think it's leaked over, plus some of the readership is situated that-a-ways so trying to find a blend of advice from everyone's official recommendations must be a little challenging.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Wear face protection?

        Also worth pointing out that Los Angeles has mandated essential business workers wear masks and customers must wear masks.

        In the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley, masks are frequently worn now. It's even recommended by the federal government, which is saying something given the political side of all this.

        This virus is no joke. California, population 40m, has got it under control through clear and well-defined early lockdowns, and cases may peak the middle of next week, well within hospital resources, depending on what model you follow. It may peak next month, but again, within resources. Which is more than you can say about the east coast.

        I don't say this to gloat. I say it to mean there is value in locking down as early as possible and sitting tight. San Francisco closed all essential stores at 8pm, for instance. It sucks for everyone - I've donated cash to my local bartenders, via gofundme, to keep them going because they are among the tens or hundreds of thousands in the region screwed by this. I know most people are screwed by this thing. You really don't want to catch it, above all else.

        C.

        1. Wibble

          Re: Wear face protection?

          > bar-tenders

          Aren't they furloughed under the government scheme? Or are they now reduced to penury and selling the big issue.

          Long-term, can see a considerable difference in government approach; aside from your looney bell-end in chief. Looney bell-end in chief. Looney bell-end in chief. (How many times does he repeat himself whilst rambling?)

          And since when do we need masks when out in rural areas? You town-dwelling nonces are a PITA to us carrot crunchers who's life carries on pretty much as it was. Get orrf my laaand...

          1. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

            Re: Wear face protection?

            He's in San Francisco...

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: Wear face protection?

              Last time I worked in a chip making facility you couldn't exchange diseases even if you tried!

          2. N2 Silver badge

            Re: Wear face protection?

            Get orrf my laaand... I'll 'ave the law on eee.

            Farmer Palmer by any chance?

          3. NeilPost Bronze badge

            Re: Wear face protection?

            Nah wild Tim ‘Brexit-tard’ Martin fucked them all off and told them to get a job in Tesco. Saves the admin in HR.

            https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52018360

          4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist

            Wear a mask in the country? Well... there is the smell to consider. Maybe you'll just have to put up with it; city people do.

          5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Wear face protection?

            @Wibble: "And since when do we need masks when out in rural areas?"

            This is what is pissing off a lot of people here in Scotland, where a lot of people live outside large conurbations, and people in large conurbations are often less than thirty minutes from large, open tracts of land. The lock down in its current form seems to have been done so that Boris didn't have to treat cities (especially London) differently from elsewhere, and the Tiny Tory in Holyrood just went along with it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wear face protection?

        If everyone was mandated to wear masks, how else would they get Herd Immunity to work?

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Wear face protection?

          If everyone was mandated to wear masks, how else would they get Herd Immunity to work?

          Slower.

          Which would keep infection levels, and more specifically hospital admissions, at a manageable level.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wear face protection?

            Hospitals are being temporarily shuttered all over America as the wave of Covid19 infected patients fails to arrive simultaneously with shutdown of non-essential medical procedures and fewer people shooting each other and crashing cars.

            The modelling was bollocks and they keep adjusting them based on the best guess of what reality actually is, however the US data quality is appalling and made worse by the CDC directives which ensure a car accident victim who tests +ve for covid19 will be classed as a covid19 victim. The result is cluelessness and "pick a number, any number" based policy.

            The end result of all this will be a global oversupply of unnecessary ventilators and other equipment that politicians can conveniently forget about and a global economy in ruins.

            https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

            1. Imhotep

              Re: Wear face protection?

              An example: someone called 911 for their child, who died when her caretaker rolled over on and smothered her. The governor of the state at a press conference listed this as the first death of a child from the virus in their state, omitting the actual circumstances.

              We're seeing a lot of bad numbers and some pretty contemptible politicing over here.

          2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Wear face protection?

            @Stoneshop: "... keep infection levels, and more specifically hospital admissions, at a manageable level."

            This has started to sound to me like "Yes, we know plebs are going to die, but it would be simply spiffing if they would do it conveniently."

        2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          Masks reduce transmission. Reduced transmission produces "herd immunity", by weakening the infection and the number of people infected by one existing patient - who is the one who has to wear the mask. If each patient can't infect as many as one other person on average then the next generation of patients is fewer, and fewer, until it dies out. Well, strictly, "herd immunity" refers to achieving that by actual immunity of a sufficient proportion of the population, but we don't have a guarantee of anyone getting lasting immunity from this virus.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wear face protection?

            There is a discrepancy between your definition of "herd immunity" and the commonly accepted definition of herd immunity.

            Misinformation confuses people and isn't helpful.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Wear face protection?

        "though there is a growing grumble that it could be helpful, at least to protect others from you being infected"

        Almost all the masks fine enough to stop Covid are valved - meaning they do NOTHING WHATSOEVER to protect anyone else from an infected person wearing said mask

        Part of the reason for not encouraging wearing things is that the vast majority of the population will treat them like a magic protection spell cast by Sky Fairies and think it makes them invulnerable to Covid when they won't. Ditto gloves - most of which are being used in ways which are MORE likely to get their wearers infected than if they are bareskinned.

    3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Wear face protection?

      While we're on the subject, the US recommendation is 6ft separation whereas in the UK it's 2m. That extra 17cm might make all the difference, so perhaps we should err on the side of caution and go with the 2m one?

      For reference, 6ft is about 13 linguine; 2m is a smidge over 14

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wear face protection?

        > For reference, 6ft is about 13 linguine

        I even bothered to log in to upvote that. Thank you sir/madam/rather-not-have-a-salutation,

      2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: Wear face protection?

        It's a way of weeding out the pro-imperial measure nutters. They won't use any of those filthy foreign French metres, and insist on keeping apart by 2 of our brave victorious Great British yards.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          Is that an Imperial or post-empire yard? People might want to know....

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Trollface

            Is that an Imperial or post-empire yard?

            Looks like it's heading to be a scrap yard.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          That's why we have units like the Osman. An Osman is one Osman is one Osman, even if you convert it into imperial or metric units.

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Wear face protection?

            Interest minds might be interested in knowing how an Osman is defined - is it a multiple of Osmandas?

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge
              Boffin

              interested in knowing how an Osman is defined

              It just is - it's a fundamental unit.

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Re: interested in knowing how an Osman is defined

                Ideally fundamental units don't change, but Richard Osman will likely get an inch or two shorter due to spinal column compression if he survives until old age. If the coronavirus is still around then, will we finally be able to stand four centimetres closer when queuing or are we going to have to put him through some pretty invasive surgery in order to maintain our safety?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: interested in knowing how an Osman is defined

                  I vote for the invasive surgery. Can't have fundamental constants varying.

                2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: interested in knowing how an Osman is defined

                  It's OK, the expansion of the Universe will compensate.

              2. commonsense

                Re: interested in knowing how an Osman is defined

                An entirely Pointless unit

            2. The Dogs Meevonks

              Re: Wear face protection?

              a lot of Osmans is an Ozymandias.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wear face protection?

        For anyone unfamiliar with the linguine measurement system the distance is 1 Osman or 2 Toksvigs

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          Now that has cleared it up - thanks. But is that a Baking Toksvig or a (more outdated) News Quiz measurement? I am given to understand they differ by the occasionally obscure 1 unit Fielding?

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          Or two Calmans.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Wear face protection?

        "For reference, 6ft is about 13 linguine; 2m is a smidge over 14"

        And for non-El Reg readers queuing outside supermarkets, it's about two trolley lengths, not 20 fucking feet! (trolley = shopping cart for left-pondians)

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          Indeed. Many shoppers are taking it to the limit.

      5. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Wear face protection?

        "For reference, 6ft is about 13 linguine; 2m is a smidge over 14"

        and both are usually slightly longer than one dead relative laid out on the ground

        1. unbender

          Re: Wear face protection?

          "...slightly longer than one dead relative laid out on the ground"

          African or European relative?

          1. OssianScotland Silver badge

            Re: Wear face protection?

            Laden or Unladen?

      6. philebbeer

        Re: Wear face protection?

        A grain of sand at about 2.5 x 10 e-6 m is well capable of being blown across the Mediterranean: Sahara - Rome ~3,000 km; Sahara - Madrid ~2500 km. A virus, at 100 x 10e-9 m, is about 40,000 x smaller so I really don't think we should get too worried about the difference between 2 m and 6 feet.

        9or Spain

    4. vincer

      Re: Wear face protection?

      In the context of this piece, I took it that "face protection" could be anything to thwart police facial recognition systems. The dual-function option would be a ski-mask with respirator underneath, but the usual urban choice would be hoodie with bandana or similar.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Wear face protection?

        "the usual urban choice would be hoodie with bandana or similar."

        I se a growing market in temperature sensitive fabric dyes. (They're fun to play with as bandanas...)

        1. NeilPost Bronze badge

          Re: Wear face protection?

          Or man Burka’s ??

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wear face protection?

        Good point - that will be interesting for police states where covering your face is illegal.

        LOL

  4. Peter Prof Fox

    Reality check

    When I go out cycling into the (much quieter now) country, I take a shopping list with me. Item1: Loaves. Item 2: Fishes. If the 'Oy! What are you doing' moral guardians stop me I can tell them 'I'm going shopping and here's the proof!' If they don't get it, I'll point out the 5000 people with me.

    1. onemark03

      When I go out cycling into the (much quieter now) country,

      Just make sure you go cycling in the general proximity of shops, not too far away into the boonies.

      If you're stopped, your claim to be going shopping is then a lot more credible.

      (Not at all. You're entirely welcome.)

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: When I go out cycling into the (much quieter now) country,

        Not easy where I live - miles away from the nearest town let alone village! But then I am a natural curmudgeon, so I suppose no one will be around to stop me on my daily ride.

        Non-obligatory - but it had everyone who knows me in stitches.

        https://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2020/03/30

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: When I go out cycling into the (much quieter now) country,

          "Miles away from anything". Well, your obvs a towny travelling non essentially spreading covid!!! Book em!

          /s

          I'm in lock down. I'm rather rural but am in a small town. I do feel for you though, as I'd not want to be rushed by crowds of idiots. I did get a caravan in a different area just before lock down (I'd not noticed things were getting that bad). And since then have not been able to visit it to keep it up to repair and make sure it's ok. However, just before lock down, I did notice the entire road where it was filled with "visitors" going for walks. :( I did have a legitimate reason to be there, and was practicing social distancing to keep any colds/flu away... let alone anything worse!)

    2. Efer Brick

      Re: Reality check

      Christ on a bike!

      1. You aint sin me, roit
        Coat

        Re: Reality check

        At this time of year shouldn't you ride into town on a donkey?

        Either way, you'll probably be crucified if the plod catch you.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Reality check

          Chapeau

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Coat

            Chapeau

            Wouldn't that be a sudra then?

        2. Glen 1 Silver badge

          Re: Reality check

          I dunno about crucified, but they'll certainly be very 'cross'

    3. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Reality check

      Probably better to keep that shopping list on a Jesus phone.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reality check

      Way to go, sticking it to the people (sic)

    5. Richard 51

      Re: Reality check

      It will take a while for the 5000 people to pass if they are all social distancing 2m or 6ft (dependent on nationality or whether they are English Market Traders). Enough time to make your escape!

    6. Arty Effem

      Re: Reality check

      You do not need to carry proof of anything. Nothing has changed the burden of proof. Nothing has changed to oblige you to give your destination or even answer any question.

      1. SloppyJesse

        Re: Reality check

        "Nothing has changed the burden of proof. "

        No, but the act is written in the negative. You cannot go out, unless for one of the specified reasons. So if a copper asks it's on you to provide a reason. If you say "none of your business, do one", they may well reply " here's a nice fine for you to pay".

        It's similar to the "going equipped" offence. If you're spotted wandering through an industrial estate at night with a crowbar the onus is on you to demonstrate you're not about to force your way into that factory.

        Alternatively you could say you're homeless. Then the rule does not apply.

        1. philebbeer

          Re: Reality check

          ....but couldn't you produce a shopping list and say you were on your way to the shops for essentials: soap: Spam; etc

          ; soap Spam, etc

      2. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Reality check

        There was a thread on twitter yesterday about a woman being stopped when travelling to work on the Tube at 7 am. The police apparently demanded to see ID and proof that she was an essential worker. Some folk were arguing that she must be able to produce ID and that only essential workers can go to work (neither are in the relevant legislation). Worryingly, one policeman posted something to the effect that she could have been arrested if she failed to produce ID. Some of the police seem to be making up new laws and new powers as they go.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

    Let the Heiling begin.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

      Yes, during the Nazi period Germany had people called block warts "block wardens". It was their job to ensure that all the residents of their area of responsibility (40-60 households) toed the party line and informed the Gestapo of anyone not conforming to the regulations or even saluting the block wart. From what I have heard from relatives the ARP in this country had similar attitudes but did not, as far as I know, send anyone to Dachau.

      Now I know that I am violating Godwin's Law by bringing in the Nazi party but although a pale shadow of the excesses of that time there does seem to be an authoritarian streak in some people and as the article says the present crisis is a God sent opportunity for these people to impose their views on everyone else. I am sure the police are agitating for even stronger powers but that's what you should expect. You have to have an authoritarian mindset to be attracted to the job in the first place.

      The article sums up what a lot of people are thinking at the moment.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        "#MeToo"

        Mrs Commswonk and I ran foul of a couple of PCSOs when we drove 2 miles to a local park to have a walk. They were insistent that this was against the law, and (when pressed) even tried to use the current Statutory Instrument to back themselves up. Someone in authority had decided that a 2 km limit applied, which is utter bollocks; the S/I is quite clear about what the restrictions on movement are; see Section 6 of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/made.

        Somewhere along the line either the College of Policing and/or the National Police Chiefs Council had taken it upon themselves to come up with restrictions that were simply not included in the S/I. I find it deeply worrying that any part of the police service should think that it/they have the power to rewrite the law to say and mean something other than what it actually says.

        Anyway within 48 hours the police (nationally) backed away from this sort of nonsense; I would like to think that my blistering email & letter to the local Police & Crime Commissioner* (who, from his website, was supportive of this sort of policing) had been a part of that rethink but somehow I doubt it.

        I find it equally bewildering that Government & Ministerial spoutings are often still at lesser variance with what the S/I actually stipulates; read it - it is easily one of the most easy to read and understand pieces of "law" I have ever encountered. (Disclosure; IANAL)

        * Lancashire, in case you were wondering.

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: "#MeToo"

          I find it deeply worrying that any part of the police service should think that it/they have the power to rewrite the law to say and mean something other than what it actually says.

          Hardly surprising though. Square pegs tend to gravitate towards square holes.

          If you are of an authoritarian disposition, then I imagine becoming a policeman is a more favoured career choice than becoming, say, a social worker. And once in the Police, you will presumably mix with other people like yourself, attracted to it for the same reasons, and reinforce each other's predilections and prejudices.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: "#MeToo"

            "I find it deeply worrying that any part of the police service should think that it/they have the power to rewrite the law to say and mean something other than what it actually says."

            PCSOs are notorious for that.

            I had one trying to tell me it was illegal to park on a single yellow line (8pm on a Sunday) because HE said so. I asked him to quote the law on this and even offered to look up the road traffic regulation act sections he was trying to quote on the device I was carrying.

            The _real_ copper standing beside him was trying very hard not to piss himself laughing and finally removed the plastic menace from the scene after I pointed out was holding a dashcam which had been recording the entire incident and wanted his shoulder number in order to file formal complaints.

            (I'd parked at the end of a section of double yellow and it was clear the puffed up prick was convinced I'd stopped on those until I pointed at the lines. The penny dropped, but he wasn't going to let that stop him and the copper supervising thought it was hilarious - at the PCSO's expense - Grinning broadly and trying to change to "serious face" every time the PCSO turned around. The PSCO went into a terrorism act rant over the camera and the supervisor intervened, pointed out that not only was it perfectly legal to film interactions with police, their actions in uniform are not protected by DPA, so if I wanted to put it on Youtube I'd be perfectly entitled to do so and the PSCO's career would not only be over before it started, but he'd never even be allowed to get so much as a security guard license in future.)

        2. IanTP
          Pint

          Re: "#MeToo"

          PCSO's have no authority and can be ignored, they are just civilians with the power of citizens arrest, same as everybody else, that's it. Only an officer of the crown can stop you and ask questions.

          Friday tomorrow and, well you know... ---->

          1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: "#MeToo"

            PCSO's have no authority and can be ignored, they are just civilians with the power of citizens arrest, same as everybody else, that's it. Only an officer of the crown can stop you and ask questions.

            Might have been true once, but now they do all sorts of things civilians can't, like*:

            -Power to require name and address

            -Power to stop and search in authorised areas

            -Power to photograph persons away from a police station

            -Power to seize drugs and require name and address for possession of drugs

            -Power to seize vehicles used to cause alarm

            -Power to stop cycles

            -Power to carry out road checks

            -Power to issue fixed penalty notices for various things

            etc.

            The above powers come as standard, but the local chief constable can decide, off his own bat, to give his PCSOs further powers, like:

            -Power to detain

            -Power to issue penalty notices in respect of offences of disorder:

            -Power to issue penalty notices in respect of truency. dog fouling, and stuff like that

            -Power to enforce byelaws, including issuing fixed penalty notices

            -Power to deal with begging

            -Power to disperse groups and remove persons under 16 to their place of residence

            etc.

            *https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/117572/pcso-powers.pdf

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: "#MeToo"

              There have been a _significant_ number of police corruption cases which have been traced to PSCOs installed in forces by organised crime groups. UK Police have been trying to keep this under wraps for a long time because widespread knowledge would destroy trust in the service.

              One rather famous murder of a PSCO not far away from me in London got rather interesting when investigaters discovered gangland connections and compelling evidence that she + her husband had been using her access to police computers to obtain data on people in their London Asian community in order to commit blackmail offences. It also came out that the Met KNEW this was going on but had chosen not to do anything about it due to lack of resources.

              PSCOs are _not_ sworn officers and the security vetting for them is deficient. Back in 2010 UK Police admitted that they know of the issues but can't just dump them or change the vetting as they'd been so stripped of funding that they were critically dependant on PCSO volunteers.

              And of course the uk government has stripped away even more funding and paid staff since then.

          2. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: "#MeToo"

            PCSO's have no authority and can be ignored, they are just civilians with the power of citizens arrest, same as everybody else, that's it.

            Wrong, I'm afraid, at least in this case. Under Section 8 of the relevant regulation para 12 (a) (ii) a PCSO has powers under the regulation

            Only an officer of the crown can stop you and ask questions.

            Not entirely certain about that. They certainly do not have powers of arrest but they can legally detain someone pending the arrival of a sworn constable to effect an arrest. Also see the sentence above about Para 8 12 (a) (ii)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "#MeToo"

            That used to be true until a few days ago.

            Unfortunately, the Covid statutory instrument changes everything. Not that anybody including the police seem to have *read* it.

            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/made

            The following is the new list of people who are allowed to enforce the regulations, which include prohibition notices (presumably backed by threat of standard court enforcement, so similar to ASBOs) , plus *reasonable force as necessary*:

            1) Police Officers

            2) PCSO’s

            3) Any “relevant person” as designated by a local authority

            4) A person designated by the Secretary of State

            That’s right, any local authority can designate any (or all, why not?) of its staff, or indeed any section of the population who aren’t even staff, to use *reasonable force* to compel people to return home. No statutory rights exist to know who are the “relevant people”. The local Neighbourhood Watch bloke can claim that he has the right to use force against you, and there is no way to check it. Not even the police know, as there isn’t a central register.

            Fortunately, nobody has actually read the law, and each local police force is busy writing their own law.

            Similar to: the definition of a “vulnerable person”

            The new law writes it out explicitly. This includes - anybody over 70, or with multiple sclerosis, or with a learning disability, or with asthma, or with diabetes, or being seriously overweight with BMI over 40.Now, you may have your own opinions as to which (or all) of these ought to deserve special protection relative to the remainder. But anyway, the law defines it.

            And then the government immediately made an online list of vulnerable people who qualified for special treatment, and excluded *all of the above* from it. That list has become essential to getting any food delivery from a supermarket. If you are over 70, you can’t get a food delivery. If you have multiple sclerosis, you can’t get a food delivery. If you have Down’s syndrome and live on your own, you can’t get a food delivery. Because the government looked at their own law they only passed a couple of days back, and thought f*k it, those people can go f*k themselves, we’ll just do something different.

            1. NeilPost Bronze badge

              Re: "#MeToo"

              I’d like to think the UK legislation has a 6 month sunsetting on it. Otherwise (hi to El Reg cowboy’s) it will be like the US Homeland Security legislation after 9/11 still in effect 19 years (or so) laterz and no attempt to roll it back.

              Kier Starmer ... we need you in vParliament holding these fuckers to account.... and when I say fuckers I especially mean Priti Patel.... our suspiciously ‘absent’ Home Secretary. Is she already holed up in the Government Bunker full of bog roll, pasta, eggs, milk, flour, yeast, choc chips and Tonic water??

              1. Danny 2 Silver badge

                Re: "#MeToo"

                Income tax was a temporary measure to pay for the Napoleonic Wars. Yet Napoleon keeps turning up.

              2. osakajin Bronze badge

                Re: "#MeToo"

                Lol. You know that is not going to happen. This *is* the next 9/11.

                And now we have all been trained to accept martial law expect to see a lot more of it.

        3. NeilPost Bronze badge

          Re: "#MeToo"

          It’s like much traffic advice and nonsense spouted when going between must not and should not. They still spout bollocks about the new motorway HADEC’a camera’s being ‘on all the time’ regardless of the managed motorway state - which tracks back to a vague police spokesman (ha in Derbyshire!) said some to a Derby paper. It’s unlawful for speed camera’s to be on all the time in a managed motorway except when the limit is in effect.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

        Roll on a few years and you find the Stasi doing the same thing with their network of stooges.

        Always cracks me up that the "hard right" and "hard left" hate each other so much, when they actually have more in common than any other two ideologies.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

          The left and the right divide has been frequently pictured as a ring - so yes!

        2. jospanner Bronze badge

          Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

          1 dimensional political analysis. Literally.

      3. Anonymous IV
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

        Classic linked headline just seen on Google News:

        Coronavirus simulation shows a single cough can spread germans across two supermarket aisles

        And there was me thinking that the only problem was with sun loungers and beach towels!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

          I saw that research model (without the spelling mistake) and my first thought was that it was a worst case scenario, ie scare mongering. Yes it *could* happen, but most people cough into something, hand, handkerchief, tissue, sleeve etc. They didn't produce any nice animated graphics for those more normal situations. If that had done that research and compared the results, I'd have more respect for them since it would help drive home to people *why* they need to be careful instead of instilling yet more FUD.

          1. NullNix

            Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

            People with covid coughs are *not* going to be managing to contain all their coughing once the disease gets going. There's just too much of it, in huge horrible spasms minutes long.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

            "Yes it *could* happen, but most people cough into something, hand, handkerchief, tissue, sleeve etc. "

            They don't need to. Just exhaling deeply is enough.

            https://medium.com/@jurgenthoelen/belgian-dutch-study-why-in-times-of-covid-19-you-can-not-walk-run-bike-close-to-each-other-a5df19c77d08

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

              "They don't need to. Just exhaling deeply is enough."

              Yes, hence the two metre thing. The study being referred to shows a huge animated cloud going over the shelves and into the next shopping aisle from an unprotected cough.

      4. Triggerfish

        Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

        Well rather than that you can have a look at Vietnam.

        A lot of neighbourhoods in Vietnam have block wardens, police/ gov informants,and the jungle drums in the average Vietnamese neighbourhood for gossip on who has moved in down the road etc is highly efficient, (I have had people houses down from where I have signed a housing contract know what house I am moving into before I have moved in).

        During the initial stages of coronavirus in Vietnam, these two networks seemingly came together into a network that was ferocious in tracking self quarantine evaders, and those who had lied about where they were flying in from. People were hunted via social media, the longest evader lasted 18hrs and they were by a long shot the best AFAIK.

        Patient 17 when they revealed they had evaded quarantine (they got to about two days) had every bit of their social media trawled over for their movements in the past two days, socially shamed, their neighbourhood got locked down, I doubt they will be able to go and live back in that area again the speed the country turned against her.

        Normally all this network is totally harmless to the average guy (the neighbourhood bit anyway). But its amazing how ruthlessly efficient it can be, especially likely tied with gov informants.

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

          A lot of neighbourhoods in Vietnam have block wardens, police/ gov informants,and the jungle drums in the average Vietnamese neighbourhood for gossip on who has moved in down the road etc is highly efficient, (I have had people houses down from where I have signed a housing contract know what house I am moving into before I have moved in).

          Lest anyone feel this good neighbour policy was purely Asiatic, way back before WWII in America delegations of neighbours used to inspect new arrivals' furnishings etc., to ensure they were sufficiently 'American'.

          [1]

          About the same time Californian strong-arm groups were manhandling Hispanics; as said, this was a long time ago.

          .

          [1] Narrated by the great Geoffrey Gorer, an anthropologist, studying weird cultures, in his 'The Americans'.

          .

          Left to themselves, people can police each other. Just like the overblown old villain Trotsky wanted.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

          " But its amazing how ruthlessly efficient it can be, especially likely tied with gov informants

          I think that was the STASI model, but it was a while back and I might be mistaken.

          (AC for obvious reasons)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

            > (AC for obvious reasons)

            What? You're ex-stasi?

  6. Great Southern Land

    Go to Jail, Do not Pass Go......

    I'm amused at the thought of jailing such people. Have the authorities really considered the consequences. It would only take one infected person in a prison and the virus would go through the prison population like a dose of laxatives, How do you enforce social distancing in a prison?

    1. You aint sin me, roit
      Joke

      Re: Go to Jail, Do not Pass Go......

      Got to catch them first...

      "Oi copper! Don't infringe my two metre exclusion zone!"

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Go to Jail, Do not Pass Go......

      Defer the sentence?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

    Anyone who lives in Cambridge will know that Cambridge police are far too busy dealing with serious crime to deal with minor stuff like "walking on the cracks in the pavement (more than once per day)". Their approach to (e.g.) cycle theft has been a bored shrug for years, so I confidently expect the same response. Curtain-twitchers will get the thrill of filling in a form, the police will send them an email thanking them for their help, and nothing will happen. Everybody wins.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

      I went to the Parkside police HQ to report a crime. "Oh, you can't do that here, you have to do it online". I duly went online and filled out the form. They couldn't even be bothered to give me a crime number.

      Muppets.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

        Just do a transphobic tweet. They'll be on your doorstep in no time.

        1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

          Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

          Transphobic tweet?

          #toyota #hybrid I'm afraid the wifes everfscking hybrid tranny has lost another seal. POS.

          That should work, no?

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

        Crime's not a crime anymore unless you get caught and that's unlikely these days. The base of all these problems has been the conservatives cutbacks to the police, I expect that it a few years they will be proposing that the police are replaced by a privatized force to save money ... finally an "end to austerity" and big profits for the companies doing the policing.

        You think this is stupid? Think about how the Tories have claimed that austerity has reduced the crime in the UK - you file a report on-line and it's ignored because there's no "evidence", just a report. Crime decreases.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

          Crime's not a crime anymore unless you get caught and that's unlikely these days.

          In my experience, unless you can catch the thief yourself and get them to sign a confession the police aren't interested. They can't even be bothered to check CCTV any more.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

            unless you can catch the thief yourself and get them to sign a confession

            Am I allowed to throw the thief down the custody suite stairs in the process?

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

              "Am I allowed to throw the thief down the custody suite stairs in the process?"

              Is that the flight of stairs in the single floor station between the front doors and the cells, all on the same level?

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

                You've been there too?

        2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

          They might not catch them - but it is still a crime.

      3. NullNix

        Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

        They don't even bother to give you a crime number if a car outright demolishes your garden wall. Why not? Traffic accident, no numberplate! Oh yeah because I'm going to stay up in the middle of the night just in case someone demolishes my garden wall at 3am, then somehow catch the numberplate from the ill-lit street (due to council cutbacks in lamppost number of 50% to save money) before the miscreant drives off.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

          They didn't bother doing anything about the miscreants who stole my numberplates.

          Given that it's actually impossible to enter or leave this estate without passing two sets of ANPR cameras, one wonders what the cameras are for.

    2. Alex Brett

      Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

      Just FYI the once per day thing is only in the guidance, the law doesn't say it...

    3. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

      Anyone who lives in Cambridge will know that Cambridge police are far too busy dealing with serious crime to deal with minor stuff like "walking on the cracks in the pavement (more than once per day)". Their approach to (e.g.) cycle theft has been a bored shrug for years, so I confidently expect the same response. Curtain-twitchers will get the thrill of filling in a form, the police will send them an email thanking them for their help, and nothing will happen. Everybody wins.

      I wouldn't be so sure. Policing these days is about targets and quotas. The current UK police clear up rate is a pitiful 7.8%. Investigating real crime obviously involves effort, for which the Police and criminal justice system is very poorly resourced.

      Hiring a company with a high capacity printer to churn out fixed penalty notices or cautions for posting by the thousand is cheap and would improve clean-up rates immensely.

      Fifty thousand crimes reported, forty five thousand dealt with each for the cost of a postage stamp and a bit of toner gives a 90% clear up rate, even with the dismal rate for the 5000 "conventional" crimes in there. Doubtless this will swiftly lead to substantial performance related pay rises for those plods with scrambled egg on their hats and a nice surprise in the Queen's birthday honours list.

  8. ThinkingMonkey

    some parts of America are infinitely worse

    Yes, world, come and join us in the U.S. where our freedoms are unparalleled. We're famous for it. Heck, all the warrant-less cell phone-tapping, e-mail searching, traffic camera snooping, Internet traffic capturing, etc. isn't all that bad, once you get used to it.

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Re: some parts of America are infinitely worse

      And small town police forces who do what they want.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: some parts of America are infinitely worse

        Living in a small US town for a while (a very pleasent experience) it was obvious that knowing the police chief was advantageous.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: some parts of America are infinitely worse

          As long as you're alright jack, pull up the drawbridge...

    2. Simplet0n

      Re: some parts of America are infinitely worse

      Not to mention j-walking, that's not a crime its simply crossing the road

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: some parts of America are infinitely worse

        I was visiting Motorola in Mesa and went for a walk to take in the local scenery and discovered there were no pavements or side-walks as they call them there. After a while wandering around even the local beer started to seem more attractive than being mown down.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

    "So is some one in charge of the abuse of major authority?"

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

      Oh we all know who is in charge of major abuse. He doing a very good job of it. In fact he is the master iof major abuse.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

        Or even general abuse.

    2. smudge Silver badge

      Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

      In the UK, that would be the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. But no one has seen her for weeks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

        Yes, she is conspicuous by her absence.

        Probably off somewhere conspiring with a foreign government. Again.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

          Yes, it is strange. As Home Sec. I'd expected her to be front and centre at the daily government press briefings.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

            #whereispritipatel

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

            "Yes, it is strange. As Home Sec. I'd expected her to be front and centre at the daily government press briefings."

            It seems she reads El Reg and has listened to the will of the commentards.

            WE HAVE THE POWAAAAAHHHH!!!

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

          There is a rumour going around that suggest she tried to get Johnsoon to stop flights in from countries with high rates of infection and has been grounded until she can come up with stupid suggestions that dont show him up.

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

            People beginning to wonder if Priti Patel ever really existed

            Me, I think she is running the show from a secret government bunker. You know her birthday was the original Brexit day, 29th March?

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

        Actually she is doing her very very best to hide from parliamentary scrutiny - sp god knows what is happening in the HO! Actuallt I do know a great deal about a very, very small part - but it does not help.

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/apr/08/priti-patel-accused-of-avoiding-mps-scrutiny-during-national-crisis

        It just foes to show that selecting politicians on the basis of sex/gender, or colour (any choice of either) without considering whether they have scruples is a baaaad idea. And I am sure that people outside the UK will concur.

        1. NullNix

          Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

          Oh come on she wasn't selected on that basis. She was selected on the basis of being pro-Brexit, just like everyone else in Cabinet. She just happens to combine that with being so right-wing that she makes Rees-Mogg look like Neil Kinnock, so short-tempered that she makes our recently-ex Speaker look like the kindest person who ever was, and "as thick as mince" (and that was from one of her *supporters*, off the record).

          However, she didn't manage the biggest own-goal of this Cabinet so far, infecting half of it with SARS-CoV-2. That was probably Nadine Dorries' doing -- and that's another sign of a terrible low-competence cabinet: why the hell is she a health minister, even a lowly one? her only interest in public health historically has been to use every possible opportunity to try to ban abortion, even though doing so is *massively* unpopular in the UK outside Northern Ireland and would get any government that tried to do it turned out on its ear. Answer: she's pro-Brexit and they long ago run out of *competent* pro-Brexiteers, given that in order to be an enthusiastic Brexiteer you more or less have to be incapable of foresight or know nothing whatsoever about international trade while imagining that you know a lot.

          Unfortunately Brexit is now an irrelevant sideshow and the Tory party is getting a sudden rude reminder of what sorts of threats the protective function of government is actually meant to protect us from, and it's not metric measurements.

        2. Glen 1 Silver badge

          Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

          "selecting politicians on the basis of sex/gender, or colour (any choice of either) without considering whether they have scruples is a baaaad idea."

          But they did check. That's how she got the job. Perfectly qualified for the front bench.

          They wouldn't have let *anyone* have that job unless they were similarly endowed in the scruples department. Cant have a decent person do it, not when it's their job to know where the skeletons are buried. They might tell someone, leading to open public scrutiny. *Definitely* can't have that.

      3. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

        But no one has seen her for weeks.

        Every cloud has a silver lining, even a cloud of infectious expectorated sputum.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

          The problem with that silver lining is that when the current crop of talking heads go down like nine-pins (look at the way they all handled the same lecturn that Boris was using) then guess who's been hiding out of the way and able to step forward?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: When people talk about the abuse of petty authority I ask

            and able to goose-step forward

            FTFY.

  10. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Lord Sumption

    I liked the quote from Lord Sumption (Former Supreme Court Judge):

    The tradition of policing in [the UK] is that the police are citizens in uniform. They are not members of a disciplined hierarchy operating just at the government's control.

    1. onemark03

      Re: Lord Sumption: ... police are citizens in uniform. ...

      Not any more, mate.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Lord Sumption

      Is Lord Sumption's first name Ass by any chance?

      The last thing any plod considers himself, is just a citizen.

      Kieron I wuld love to be able to upvote the article, all police forces constantly complain about lack of manpower and resources but whenever there is an opportunity to increase their ability to control the population they will find the resources and manpower no matter how petty it may be.

      I was talking t my ex- wife in the UK, who told me when she also bought plants that were on sale in the same supermarket where she was shopping for essential items, she was tutted atby staff and other shoppers for buying nonessentials.

      These are the kind of people who think children shoud be kept on a lead and sow grass seed with a tape measure. Small, narrow, bored little minds!

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Lord Sumption

        The other customers I can understand being morons. But if the staff are concerned about it don't have them on display to be bought!!

        Just to be clear I see no problem with buying non-essential items if you're already going to the shops to buy essentials. On an unrelated note, anyone know what to do with 14 loaves of pretty and a dozen empty wine bottles?

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Lord Sumption

          Start cultivating grapes?

        2. Tweetiepooh

          Re: Lord Sumption

          Those who've grown the plants and have them ready now would likely consider selling them pretty essential to their ongoing operation. DIY places are open but hammers don't rot and plants do but garden centres are closed.

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Lord Sumption

            Well in the Scottish Borders, forestry (they work in their own and do not drive to the sites in the same vehicle) seems t be allowed. And this is towards the end of the viable planting period for many trees.

          2. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: Lord Sumption

            To be exact, I've thought they ought to be able to afford one person to safeguard the plants and water them once every day with a hose. The lockdown's only for' another few weeks', Repeat as required.

            On the other hand, and very seriously --- why don't they come to an arrangement with local councils and have the otherwise condemned plants planted out on verges etc. to beautify the local areas ?

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: Lord Sumption

              But they will have flowered and gone over by the time the lock-down is over. As anyone who has ever bought a beautiful flowering plant from a garden centre and put it in pride of place in the border and woken the next morning to find its the same colour as Percy's Purest.

      2. onemark03

        people who sow grass seed with a tape measure.

        Over here in Germany there are people who literally trim their hedges using a tape measure (in addition to manual hedge-clippers or an electric hedge-cutter) to ensure that the final result is absolutely and mathematically even.

        I am not making this up.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Lord Sumption

      I think Dixon of Dock Green finished its run decades ago.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free the Paedos

    As we know, the virus would be deadly in a prison, everyone would get it.

    Release some prisoners - fair is fair.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Free the Paedos

      Would any of the downvoters like to explain why non-violent prisoner - in for, say 6 months should be retained? Just curious.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Free the Paedos

        I didn't vote either way but I could guess the title caused offence.

  12. Mr Dogshit
    Headmaster

    Pretty sure it's Cambridgeshire Police

  13. James Anderson Silver badge

    So glad I don't live there anymore

    What a bunch of self-centred, whinging whiners you lot have become.

    As far as I can work out the U.K. police have been decidedly under zealous in there enforcing the life saving social distancing regulations.

    Here in Spain the various police forces have been rigorously enforcing the lockdown. And whenever there are reports of someone being fined or arrested there is a general "cheers -- well done lads, keep up the good work" reaction.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: So glad I don't live there anymore

      Meanwhile, in India, the police have big sticks. Be careful what you wish for.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: So glad I don't live there anymore

      I live in the Valencia region and I have to say the population is pretty much self policing.

      I have been stopped once in the village 6Km from me by the Policia Local, they asked me if I was OK and doing alright..

      Everywhere here is orange and almond groves and like all farming it doesn't stop soit is easy to go for a sensible stroll inthe country, just wear a mask and take a bug sprayer or a chainsaw with you.

      1. You aint sin me, roit
        Terminator

        Wear a mask, carry a chainsaw?

        Shirley that's the wrong film franchise...

        I'd rather hole up in The Winchester.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Wear a mask, carry a chainsaw?

          Apparently the Winchester is off limits?

          https://youtu.be/UOYPRC0US_0

      2. smudge Silver badge

        Re: So glad I don't live there anymore

        it is easy to go for a sensible stroll in the country, just wear a mask and take a bug sprayer or a chainsaw with you.

        There was a time when that would definitely have got you stopped - probably by an armed response unit.

        Now: "Man in a mask with a chainsaw? He's an essential worker!".

    3. fitzpat

      Re: So glad I don't live there anymore

      Ain't no laws or regulations about social distancing, your one-a-day exercise, or buying luxury food items instead of beans and potatos.

      The point is Plod routinely interprets CMO advice and ministerial requests as The Law, and get really, really pissed off when you present the actual law to them. And the curtain-twitchers doing the same - mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So glad I don't live there anymore

      I’m not terribly surprised. Opinion surveys over recent years have consistently found that 15-20% of Spaniards agree with the statement “Things were better under Franco”. As recently as 2006 it was 30%

      https://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2006/07/18/espana/1153192100.html

      Spanish opinion has always needed somebody strong to show they are in charge, whether dictator or Workers Council of National Unity, left or right doesn’t matter. After the Covid catastrophe, it is once again the time for strong men in Spain. God help you all.

  14. John Riddoch
    FAIL

    "There’s a reason why the UK doesn’t have a mandatory national ID card" - frankly, I've always argued the main reason not to do it is simple. It'll require a government IT project. That alone should doom it to failure from the start as pretty much every government IT project goes over budget, over time and under-delivers.

    1. m4r35n357

      Your phone is your ID card.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Oh.

        Your phone is your ID card.

        I'm glad I don't have one then.

      2. MortimerTheCat

        A few years when Government ID's were a hot topic and they came up with a cost, The Register did point out it would be cheaper to buy everyone an iPhone.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          I don't remember that - but it seems reasonable!

    2. James Anderson Silver badge

      I always wondered about the British allergy to ID cards.

      The rest of Europe has them, you cannot live in the US without a driving license, even if you cannot drive.

      Instead you have rampant identity theft, totally unregulated Credit Rating agencies being used to establish your ID, and, a massive illegal immigration problem. The reason they pass through Italy, Spain and France to get to the UK is they know that once you get past the border you can work and move around freely.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        And so what? None of these things are big issues here.

      2. Mooseman Silver badge

        We don't have a massive illegal immigration problem unless you are called Nigel Farage.

  15. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Hack is the right word

    This is nothing but the usual attack on the police and from someone who isn't even in the UK.

    tell you what, go out with the police and watch what they put up with instead of sniping from behind a keyboard.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Hack is the right word

      I believe the author is from the UK, if that's enough qualification for you.

    2. James Wilson

      Re: Hack is the right word

      As with pretty much everything, there are two sides. Most police are doing their best to get people to follow the guidelines & laws (there's a mixture of both) in a friendly, non-confrontational way. A small proportion will of course continue being complete arses. In the same way most of the general public are good-naturedly being considerate and doing what they can, a small proportion will continue being too thick and/or selfish and do whatever they want.

      In my not-so-humble opinion the drone video was a massive fuck-up, a great example of wasting time and shooting yourself in the foot. Having a form to alert about people not playing nicely (and, shock-horror, one that's nice and simple so can be filled in quickly and easily - <fe>I'm sure there would have been plaudits had it been a hideous UI disaster</fe>) sounds like it might well be useful. Sure, there will be some people submitting it 'cos they're self-righteous gits, but also some helpful data to guide the police to people flaunting the lockdown and making it go on longer for the rest of us.

      So yeah, it is a rant unfairly lumping a large group of individuals in to one block so as to complain about them, but it is Bombastic Kieran so I'm afraid par for the course. Try not to let it dampen your day, go for your one bit of outdoor exercise for the day and enjoy the fact that most people are doing their best in difficult circumstances.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Hack is the right word

        They were just trying out a new toy ..... Not that it should be encouraged, some toys should not be given to them without adult supervision.

      2. Trollslayer Silver badge

        Re: Hack is the right word

        Agreed but this attacks all police.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Hack is the right word

          Because pretty much all forces are overreaching in one way or another. Here's that hardy perennial South Yorkshire:

          Coronavirus: Police apologise for telling family they weren't allowed in their own front garden

          Further south two forces are confused between what is an essential shop and what they consider to be an essential item. They seem to think it's legal for a shop to sell non-essential items but not legal for people to buy them, as if it were some kind of test of character and those who are found wanting can be warned or fined:

          Coronavirus: Government confirms shops can sell whatever they have in stock, after police criticised for patrolling 'non-essential aisles' in supermarket

          This of course might be down to the complete lack of clear guidance from the government, but if the police don't want to lose support from the public (and they need it because in the UK there are relatively few) then they should cut out nonsense like this.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Hack is the right word

            And now to Manchester, man who's delivering food to a family member is handcuffed and threatened with pepper spray and an onlooker is told "you'll be next":

            UK lockdown: police apologise after man threatened with pepper spray

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Hack is the right word

      "go out with the police and watch what they put up with instead of sniping from behind a keyboard"

      Let me deal with that one first: I have done that very thing in that back in the 70s & 80s I sometimes needed a police or even army escort in NI.

      Now to get onto present times:

      I'm in the over 70s so anything that presents an actual risk of catching the virus concerns me. We over-70s have actually been under lockdown for a week longer than the general population. Mostly it's been our daughter doing shopping for us. I've driven short distances to my sister-in-law to pick-up, from her doorstep without meeting her or er husband, our share of her Tesco delivery. So, yes take this seriously.

      I also live within walking distance of a National Park. Given the amount of space there, a huge number of people could easily disperse into it and maintain separation. There are a couple of local car parks with quite limited amounts of space in them. Even if they were filled with cars the density of walkers they could bring would be negligible. Looking at it from my strictly selfish but naturally sensitive point of view, if the 2metre separation is safe I would be ultra-safe in those circumstances. Nevertheless from quite early on TPTB blocked the car parks off to prevent visitors; this only makes sense from two considerations. One is if it were the journey to get to the car park that represented a threat of contamination and I've not seen even the faintest attempt to show that.

      The other is that groups of visitors would disregard the recommended spacing. Unfortunately people do not have to come out into the countryside to do that. The Beeb news site this morning has a report that the Greater Manchester Police have broken up 660 parties recently. Greater Manchester does include a lot of rural areas but there was no indication that the parties were rural, especially as s great number were described as house or street parties or gatherings to play sport. If people are going to be idiots they're at least as likely to do that at home as visit a National Park. From a country dweller's PoV my main concern is that they don't come here and let dogs loose, start fires or the other usual behaviours.

      Similar arguments apply to urban parks. If people are allowed to visit the parks they can spread out to a much greater extent than if they're not.

      It seems to me that one factor which has been forgotten by the present government is public morale. If the population is going to be locked down then every measure needs to be taken to maintain morale. This is not something that was lost on wartime governments but I think it is partly lost on this one.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Hack is the right word

        Much is lost on this poor showing of a government. But unfortunately, the British public did vote them in!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hack is the right word

          Not all of us.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Hack is the right word

            Not even a majority of us (whether by population, electorate, or voters on the day).

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Hack is the right word

        @Doctor Syntax: re walking in open countryside. The lack of proportionality in this is going to come back and bite the police, and, by extension, the government, hard. It was Johnson's cowardice in putting the whole country under lock down, rather than focusing on hotpots, that will bring the whole thing down.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hack is the right word

          I think the govt. are finally realising that. They seem to have taken some steps to tell the police to tone down some of the more outrageous actions such as deciding which items of your shopping are essential and telling families children shouldn't play in their own gardens.

  16. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    if they're walking in a northerly direction give these guys a heads up https://www.reportingcrime.uk/HPBreachOfCovid19Guidance/index.html

  17. I3N
    Pint

    Upgraded from weeds on property and work on Sunday ...

    Anonymous complaint web-site ...

    https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2020/04/07/local-enforcement-of-stay-at-home-orders-raise-concerns/

  18. Nevermind

    Shoot people?

    The very thought...

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-philippines-dutert/shoot-them-dead-philippine-leader-says-wont-tolerate-lockdown-violators-idUKKBN21K0AU

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Shoot people?

      That's his answer to everything.

      No, I'm not joking. Drug users, smokers, other undesirables, just shoot them dead.

      It's only in about a third of cases he actually sends out the death squads though.

      Steven R

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Shoot people?

        "That's his answer to everything."

        Has been since he was a mayor in Mindanao (Davao city). He was openly operating death squads regularly back then and accused of directly participating on several occasions

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shoot people?

          To be fair, Mindanao was a wild west of gangland terror. We had an installation there and had to have heavily armed mercenaries for protection from kidnapping, murder and general mayhem.

          Not sure if it's any better now, but back then the government death squads were the good guys!

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Shoot people?

        He was one of those who urged Americans to choose Hillary, not only on general admiration but --- I imagine --- thanks to her brisk approach to getting rid of Gadhaffi and thereby transforming Libya into an earthly Paradise.

  19. Mog_X

    How secure is this app?

    It would be a terrible shame if the details of the Cambridgeshire informants got leaked, wouldn't it.......

  20. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Joke

    Napoleon's I & III , not to mention the Jacobins, would have loved it

    At least British and American police would resist the French pattern of having people fill out a time/date form to leave their quarters for as short time. Every time.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Napoleon's I & III , not to mention the Jacobins, would have loved it

      As you point out - a joke - they would do it if they could.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Napoleon's I & III , not to mention the Jacobins, would have loved it

      "At least British and American police would resist the French pattern of having people fill out a time/date form to leave their quarters for as short time. Every time."

      Mind you, the current french system is nicely done: fill up an online form, press the button, it generates a QR code with all data, including the date you filled it up (preventing abuses) and the reason you go outside.

      It is then scanned (no touching involved) by the cops so they get the data.

      Since it is indeed mandatory to stay confined, for this unique time, they got it right quite rapidly and, apart from morons in big towns that already did wonders to propagate the pandemic, it works flawlessly.

  21. Chozo
    Big Brother

    The fist within the velevet glove

    I am concerned about the addicts, with the illegal drug supply & distribution essentially broken things must be starting to hurt about this week and chaos does love a junkie tamping at the bit. All it's going to take is government declaring alcohol & tobacco as non-essential items with lock down becoming smoke free & sober, possibly even sugar free and we are all going to feel the pain of a fist presently wearing a velvet glove.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The fist within the velevet glove

      "declaring alcohol & tobacco as non-essential items "

      They already did that in South Africa. I've not heard how well it's being enforced or of any fall-out from it yet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The fist within the velevet glove

        We have rationing in Australia, but the ration is sufficiently large that no human could consume it. Political theatre

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The fist within the velevet glove

          60 rolls per person?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peak District

    The walkers in Derbyshire weren't doing an harm - by walking. The problem is that they don't live there: they drove there in a shiny metalic surface on which it appears the virus can survive for hours, possibly even a day or two.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Peak District

      A car baking in sunlight? Viri don't like that.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Peak District

        The plural of virus is not viri, so I assume you are not a biologist, consequently I suggest you might need to cite sources to justify your claim about what conditions they can survive. I'll go first: some other dangerous members of the Coronoviridae (SARS and MERS) can survive nine days on hard surfaces (e.g. JHIN). Not all hard parts of a car get "baking hot" in UK weather, even on a clear blue day in April.

        Any unecessary movement of people or objects is clearly not a good idea in a pandemic, especially in a country where we aren't doing contact trace & test when we diagnose cases. Even if they don't touch anything on this journey they will need to refuel the car at some point - sooner than if they hadn't made the journey. They are increasing the risk of an RTA when resources are stretched, and even the possibility of needing mountain rescue. And it's difficult to get into National Parks straight off the motorway - nearly all routes require some travel on minor roads through villages.

        It's boring, I know. We usually take our dogs to all sorts of places. But unless they really cannot be walked to and from your own property (behaviour issues or you live somewhere, perhaps temporarily, where the dogs you have cannot be exercised), stay the fuck at home. Perhaps the police can be considered to have overreacted to this one incident in and of itself, but I'm sure the TV footage will have made some people think twice about treating lockdown as a holiday.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Peak District

          In addition to the drive-through coronavirus testing facilities we're now starting to see drive-through blood-testing facilities for those who would otherwise have to visit surgeries for routine tests.

          It looks as if the NHS sees being partially enclosed in a car as being safer than parking the car and walking up to the testing centre.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Peak District

          "Perhaps the police can be considered to have overreacted to this one incident"

          Yup

          But on the other hand they say they've had to break up several _hundred_ parties in Manchester over the last 10 days

          It's clear that not only are some people being wilfully clueless, there's a percentage who are double-dog daring the the government to put soldiers on the streets

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Peak District

            So concentrate on the idiots instead of taking it out on those who are trying to find space to act responsibly.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Peak District

          Ah, another person who wants to:

          1 ) Ignore and misrepresent what the actual government advice and law is

          2) Change the government’s strategy to what they think ought to have been done instead

          3) Re-write the law and advice to suit their personal point of view

          You may be correct that your proposed action might reduce the spread of the virus in the short term. Or you could be wrong (there is that). But that is *not* the government strategy. The strategy is to flatten the curve, to allow the NHS to handle the peak, and in the short term to reduce R0 below 1, and definitely not to zero.

          It is *expected* that the majority (roughly 70%) of the non-vulnerable population get infected, and are managed in the best way we know how. In an orderly manner, and delayed until improved treatment infrastructure is in place: ventilators, PPE, hospitals, extra staffing, testing, antiviral mitigations (*not* cures or vaccination). This will prevent the NHS being overwhelmed, care for people better, and fewer doctors and patients will die.

          If that doesn’t happen, and only a small minority of the non-vulnerable population get infected in this peak then we have no defense for the 10 million vulnerable people in the medium term. None. They will remain in solitary isolation for the rest of their lives, which as many of them are either over 70 or have critical illnesses, will be a few years and they will die alone, sooner rather than later.

          Reducing R0 to 0 is actually a catastrophe. It condemns us all to doing this repeatedly for 3 months out of every 3.5 months forever. And that does mean forever. Even finding a vaccine doesn’t change that. Most vaccines are 30-70% effective, which even on the upper end is not enough with a virus that has R0 = 3.5-4.5 like this. It would *still* be on an exponential through the remaining vulnerable, just with a two week doubling instead of three days. That’s half a million dead in six months instead of a million dead in two months. Still unacceptable.

          Just possibly, the government experts did run the numbers, came to that conclusion, and decided on their stated strategy. Did you and the vigilantes consider that? Before undermining their strategy by f’ing it up totally with your OCD, and condemning large swathes of the population to death with your half-knowledge?

          If the government calculations and strategy is wrong, that will be horrific. Beyond anything imagined. But you don’t have any better insight than them. So stop being an f’ing virtue signalling prima Donna, and follow the f’ing law rather than inventing your own new rules.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: shiny metallic surface

      If you wander around licking strange cars you see parked in the Peak District... You've more to worry about than COVID-19

    3. Services Techie

      Re: Peak District

      Not only that, but by driving they risked having a car accident that would require the call out of an ambulance.

      1. Ambulances are better used for transporting actual sick people at the moment

      2. The walkers and the ambulance staff would be at risk of exposure

      Then what if they happened to injure themselves badly enough while out walking to require the emergency services? The above comments apply, as well as:

      1. If they injured themselves in a remote area and couldn't walk out or be stretchered out by the ambulance crew, a rescue team and possibly a helicopter would be required.

      Rescue teams are made up of volunteers that would need to be called out and who would then potentially be exposed to the virus or would expose the walkers to the virus. If a helicopter is required to airlift them out, this take the helicopter out of service for transporting critically ill patients potentially and again potentially exposes everyone.

      The request to not drive is to reduce the impact on the emergency services in the event of you having an accident.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Peak District

        All of that may be true. However, if it is true, it could equally be used as an argument to prevent people travelling in normal circumstances and unnecessarily endangering other people. Slippery slope.

        Fortunately, it doesn't matter whether it's true or not. The law says that you're not allowed to leave your place of residence without a reasonable excuse. It doesn't exhaustively list reasonable excuses, but it does list exercise (alone or in a household group) as an example. And that's it. It doesn't say what forms of exercise are permitted. It doesn't say how long you can exercise for. It doesn't say how far you can go from your place of residence. There is no mention of "unreasonable travel". The government's guidelines have no statutory force. Ultimately it's up to a court to decide what's reasonable and until one does, the police are just making it up as they go along.

        It might be considerate to avoid activities that could result in avoidable medical treatment, but I suspect there will be far more infected people falling off ladders as they try to catch up on the decorating than breaking their legs in country parks. The regulations are there to reduce community spread of the virus, not to prevent people looking like they might be enjoying themselves at a time of national crisis.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Peak District

          "Ultimately it's up to a court to decide what's reasonable and until one does, the police are just making it up as they go along."

          That pretty much sums up the UK judiciary and law enforcement systems in a nutshell.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Peak District

          > There is no mention of "unreasonable travel".

          That would come under "reasonable excuse" if it got in front of a judge and I can't imagine one being sympathetic if the cops are pissed off enough to lay charges.

          Right now they're being nice, telling people off and sending them home.

          In some countries spitting at or on anyone has activated laws from 1918 (intentionally attempting to pass infection) which can see the spitter jailed for 17 years. The UK has yet to reactivate those level of quarantine laws but they're still in place if needed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Peak District

            How does one reactivate a law that has never been rescinded?

            Asking for a friend.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Peak District

        "accident that would require the call out of an ambulance."

        This is _exactly_ why New Zealand banned any leisure activities which might need rescue or medical callouts.

        Apart from the obvious stress on the services due to overloaded treatment centres there's the added risk to the crews themselves if the quarantine breakers are infected

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Peak District

      I am pretty sure I haven't touched any one else's car with my bare hands casually in forever. The "might have an accident" argument is possibly valid, although the stats probably suggest that staying at home is as risky, all those stairs to fall down....

  23. Mr Humbug

    I read that Tweet differently

    I think the important bit is "Please do not call 101 to report breaches."

    In other words, Cambridgeshire Police is fed up with people calling 101 to complain about the man down the road going to work, so it's getting all the whinges collated into a list that someone can skim-read once a week for anything that's actually important.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: I read that Tweet differently

      And after this is all over, It can be used to provide a nice list of people who shouldn't be given any power in a future emergency.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: I read that Tweet differently

        And after this is all over, It can be used to provide a nice list of people who shouldn't be given any power in a future emergency.

        ---

        Thats easy and we've already got it.... anyone who buys the daily mail

        1. OssianScotland Silver badge

          Re: I read that Tweet differently

          You mean people BUY it?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: I read that Tweet differently

            You mean people BUY it?

            Shouldn't be much need now that there are bog rolls on the supermarket shelves once more.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: I read that Tweet differently

              Still almost no flour, no yeast and, today, almost no eggs. Last weeks shopping trips, apart from Bread flour and yeast, was almost entirely normal. This week, the shops seemed a little more bare. I suspect it;s because of Easter and that the shops will be shut for a whole day on Sunday.

    2. FuzzyWuzzys
      Facepalm

      Re: I read that Tweet differently

      My father says he knows a local dog walker who has an incontinent dog, she has to walk the dog every 2 hours during the day, she has no garden so she has to take the dog out. She phones the Police every 2 hours 15 mins before going out to let them know she'll be going out again with her dog!

      She's 75 and terrified of getting a criminal record or fine if they find her out and about without good reason, she's terrified the dog will panic, stink the house out and need vetinary treatment!

      Welcome to the trickier side of lockdown.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I read that Tweet differently

      There are breaches, and then there's the example I witnessed this afternoon of two men PLAYING GOLF (as in whacking balls with 9-irons over distances of 75-80 yards, not just chipping or playing with putters) in a park where people were walking around (at sensible distances) trying to mind their own business and get some exercise

      You really have to wonder about the mentality of some twats

  24. PTW
    Devil

    It'd be terrible

    If someone unleashed a bot that filed, I dunno, maybe a 100,000 or more reports a day on plod's form

  25. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Matt Hancock started it

    When he showed his face on the box and spouted 'this is not a suggestion, it's an order'.

    He seems not to have realised that it's only an order if people will obey it... and the British populace, while quite likely to obey rules and laws that they see as sensible, and that have a sensible and well-explained rationale behind them, take a dim view of being ordered around. And even if it is not in their best interests, they are quite likely to ignore 'orders' that they see as an insult to their intelligence.

    "You are ordered to stay in your house" does not go down well. "You are strongly requested to stay in your house, and when you go out for exercise, please be courteous to others and keep 2m apart, and please don't congregate with people you're not living with", well, that's got a chance of being done.

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Re: Matt Hancock started it

      I live near Bournemouth and there has a number of cases where people have driven down from London for a day at the beach.

      Other places will have had similar problems.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Matt Hancock started it

        "There has a number of cases where people have driven down from London for a day"

        My solution: impound the vehicle and tell them to make arrangements to get home that meet police approval or start walking.

        2-3 reports of that and it'd stop very quickly.

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Re: Matt Hancock started it

      Well known military adage:

      "Never give an order you know will not be obeyed"

      I've been told off by relatives for having the temerity to go out for a dog walk for all of 70 minutes:

      "but you've been told only to go out for an hour maximum"

      Apparently going from 59 to 61 minutes means "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!"

      (and yes, the five exclamation marks are done with full knowledge of Terry Pratchett's opinions)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Matt Hancock started it

        > I've been told off by relatives for having the temerity to go out for a dog walk for all of 70 minutes:

        Did you ask them how long they take to do their 10,000 steps? Or has the whole 10K steps to stay healthy thing gone out the window now as well?

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So the UK is now operating like the Stasi

    Inform on your neighbor. How quaint. And people are ready to accept that rather than ID cards.

    In a way, people are informants. If somebody is being robbed in the street, an onlooker can perfectly well whip out the phone and record it for YouTube call the police. That is perfectly acceptable.

    But encouraging citizens to rat on their neighbors for taking a walk ? Why not for jaywalking while they're at it ?

    I just hope that the plods will be awash with reports on how horrid those drapes are, and on how the flowers need tending.

    1. fitzpat

      Re: So the UK is now operating like the Stasi

      We're mostly on the same level, but there's no such thing as jaywalking over here, so they could be done for wasting police time (which would be a delicious irony)

  27. JohnMurray

    They largely ignore the fact that, given they are out all the time, with no rpe being worn, the police are a potential source of infection to lone people...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      There was news footage of police - maybe BTP - at station entrances, interviewing passengers at close quarters, about 0.3 to 0.5 Osman, and checking identities to make sure they were key workers.

  28. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    How did we come to this?

    Thomas Jefferson once said "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem", which is Latin for "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery". I would be hospitalized with every minor disease that comes along than to live in a police state.

    How did it ever come to this? Why are we letting this happen?

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: How did we come to this?

      How did it ever come to this?

      There is no freedom in being dead, you cannot enjoy things because dead is dead.

      This corona virus is not a" minor disease". That's why we are where we are. I chafe at the restrictions placed on us but although getting more rebellious the older I get I will stick to the rules. I don't want to die before I have to. What I will resist is the over-zealous attempts by the police and other authorities to clamp down even more than the mandate they have been given

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: How did we come to this?

        "What I will resist is the over-zealous attempts by the police and other authorities to clamp down even more than the mandate they have been given"

        Amen. What I'm seriousuly worried about is the fact that the emergency powers the UK government has voted itself are reviewable in 2 YEARS.

        Not 2 months, renewable if needed for another 2 months, etc.

        That's the 1934 Reichstag fire enabling act all over again. 2 years is more than enough time to soften up the population for the powers to become permanent.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: How did we come to this?

      Some people are stupid, some plod over react.

      At the moment everyone is on a steep learning curve, stupid & plod will soon settle down to acceptable behaviour. Give it a month or so & 'Thinking before doing' will become ingrained in our activities.

      1. Frangipane vandal

        Re: How did we come to this?

        If we have a month or so where a significant number of people continue to behave irresponsibly, many thousands will die unnecessarily.

        If everyone in the world stayed at home for a few weeks, the virus would die out (though obviously impossible to do)

        A half arsed attempt at a shut down will leave this whole situation dragging on for months to come.

        Unless you have a valid reason, stay home. The Plod don’t want to be running around enforcing this in a virus riddled world, but that is their job right now.

        When I’m outside clapping for key workers, they are at the forefront of my thoughts alongside the NHS workers, prison officers, carers, delivery drivers etc etc.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: How did we come to this?

          "When I’m outside clapping for key workers, they are at the forefront of my thoughts alongside the NHS workers, prison officers, carers, delivery drivers etc etc."

          Perhaps you MIGHT want to think about virtue-signalling Conservative politicians who gave themselves a standing ovation in parliament - in the minutes after successfully after blocking pay rises for nurses and suggesting that the reason they needed to use Foodbanks was because they were lousy at handling money.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: How did we come to this?

        "Give it a month or so & 'Thinking before doing' will become ingrained in our activities."

        *That* is exactly what I'm afraid of. This should not become normal. These actions should be considered at all times and cast off as soon as possible.

    3. Crucial Decimal

      Re: How did we come to this?

      Especially as the whole lock-down/flatten the curve thing is being questioned/seen as counter productive by some highly credentialed experts...

      https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/28/10-more-experts-criticising-the-coronavirus-panic/

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGC5sGdz4kg

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How did we come to this?

        You can find "experts" who will give "evidence" to prove anything you want.

        In the 1980s the global warming experts said if we didn't change our ways great swathes of the then-current land masses WOULD be underwater by the turn of the millennium. 40 years later, we are still polluting (although it is finally starting to get a bit better) and those low-lying areas are still dry, and now we ONLY have thirty years to stop polluting or those areas WILL be underwater.

        Citing the Grauniad is not a good way to prove anything - if they cannot even spell properly, how can you trust them to get anything else right?

        1. PTW

          Re: Citing the Grauniad

          From off-guardian.org:

          OffGuardian was launched in February 2015 and takes its name from the fact its founders had all been censored on and/or banned from the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ sections.

          You're welcome

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: Citing the Grauniad

            I saw a Guardian article praising a poet I'm pals with, and there was a small mistake so I emailed him and told him he should correct it in the comments section. He replied he couldn't as he'd been banned.

            Sums up the paper, happy to write an article praising a writer who they deemed unfit to comment.

            I couldn't correct it because, you know, banned.

            "Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people" - Adrian Mitchell

            (A Guardian article once called me an ingenious young man - two thirds wrong)

        2. Glen 1 Silver badge

          Re: How did we come to this?

          " low-lying areas are still dry"

          You have a short memory. Climate change is not just sea-level rise.

          Remember the flooding?

          The linked article is dated about 6 weeks ago.

        3. Fr. Ted Crilly

          Re: How did we come to this?

          And if you go back another 15-20 years we were on the brink of an overdue return of the ice sheets...

          we are still overdue btw.

    4. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Re: How did we come to this?

      I prefer Franklin's version

      "He who would give up essential liberties for temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security"

    5. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: How did we come to this?

      And Jefferson was a world authority on slave-owning.

      .

      .

      And a world-class little shit.

  29. Delt-v
    WTF?

    "Enjoying"

    Friends of mine are UK cops. They are not "enjoying" this at all. Being spat at, bitten and generally threatened with the same isn't so much fun normally, nevermind now.

    They're constantly being sent to deal with groups of entitled idiots who think they should be able to do what they like, regardless of the potential for spreading C19, and there's very little PPE available. Like the pricks who thought it a good idea to drive 10 miles to "walk the dog" then crashed their car (because a "bug" flew in), needing Police, Fire and Ambulance to turn up - tricky to extract people from cars and still keep 2m away!

    I little bit of pointing out the stupidity of some people to try and discourage more of the same isn't going to hurt anyone, and might save the emergency services having to risk themselves unnecessarily.

  30. stiine Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Surely you remember...

    I know helium is expensive, but I'm sure barrage balloons would keep the plod's drones away.

  31. BigSLitleP Silver badge

    "We don't want to do as we're told!"

    I'm not used to feeling like El Reg has lost the plot, but what the fsck is going on here? People are dying and you guys are moaning because idiots are gathering and being told off by the police? Are you serious?

    In order to help slow down the spread of the disease, we're being asked to not travel and not form large groups. Yes, some of the forces have been a little over-zealous (telling shop owners what they can stock, stopping people from exercising even though that's clearly allowed in the fricking rules), there are people out there being stupid. Night before last, someone decided to hold a street party. My wife is a doctor. Several people on my street are nurses. We don't need that kind of stupidity. You better believe we called the police and had that party dispursed.

    This thing is not a joke. Start acting like adults. Maybe next time, get a Brit to write the story instead. Americans don't seem to know what they are doing at the moment.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

      Totally agree. We should be ratting on our neighbours for congregating, driving for the fun of it for a walk 5 miles away or having friends round. All these things increase the risk of the virus from spreading. It may seem trivial that one man is walking on his own somewhere he drove to. But what if he crashes? Not only is it increasing the risk of spreading the virus, but it’s diverting health resources unnecessarily. IF HE DOESN’T DRIVE, HE CAN’T CRASH!

      And if you saw someone wandering outside brandishing a gun or a machete, wouldn’t you call the police? Why is this any different?

      I don’t get why people are moaning about this. This isn’t a personal rights and freedoms situation. It’s an emergency for fucks sake! Anybody who flouts the rules deserves to be reported. The police are doing an incredible job in the face of adversity (and absurdity), putting their lives at risk for us. People are dying for heavens sake! The fewer people who go out, the fewer people will die. It’s that fucking simple!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

        Some time ago I read a comment from someone who said if he and his young son were to cycle from home it would have to be on a busy road. By putting the bikes in a car and driving half a mile they could cycle in safety. That seems sensible risk analysis to me. The problem with hard and fast rules is that they don't necessarily fit well with reality and reality is where our problems lie.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

          How busy was it at this time? Just curious.....

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

          "By putting the bikes in a car and driving half a mile they could cycle in safety."

          By walking the bikes along the footpath they could achieve that too.

          There's an old saying that speed humps are put in place to protect children walking to school from cars carrying children being driven to school

          The example above is a perfect example of someone's little Tarquin who's far too precious to walk.

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

        And if you saw someone wandering outside brandishing a gun or a machete, wouldn’t you call the police?

        Not in Texas.

      3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

        The argument that we can reduce road fatalities to zero if we enforce the 0 mph speed limit is a little old.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

          *All* accidents could be avoided if no-one and nothing moved.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

      My friend told me about a street party they had last night. The police were called 3 times. The first time, just a car turned up. The 2nd and 3rd time two riot vans turned up. Each time, they left happy with the situation, and leaving those who called no doubt fuming.

      Why? Well the street party was a door-stop party. Each party goer not leaving their doorstep, and there being plenty of room between each of them.

      Two of the 3 actors in this scenario were being sensible, can you tell which?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We don't want to do as we're told!"

        How many times do they have to be called out before the callers get charged with "wasting police time"?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

    My neighbour has had several fence panels delivered (although he did fit them himself) and is currently repaving and refencing his front garden - not exactly essential works by any means. He is NOT a key worker and is not providing assistance to quarantined friends and family but is going out several times a day. He, and the people the other side of him, are often talking together at less 1m separation, and they also go out several times a day, often but not always coming back with a carrier bag with very little in it.

    I have no problem with the dog walkers, the joggers and even the dickhead cyclists who seem to think it is now acceptable to either swerve all over the road or to cycle - often at high speed - on the pavement (well okay, a bit of a problem with those cyclists - the rest can behave sensibly, why not all of them?) who out for exercise before returning home, but isn't it funny how the same obliviots who were demanding the government order us to stay indoors three weeks ago are now the same obliviots who are bemoaning the country becoming a police state.

    I'm sure the relatives of those who have died or who die in the coming weeks and months from Covid 19 will applaud your selfless devotion to freedom.

    And Neil Barnes, ""You are strongly requested to stay in your house, and when you go out for exercise, please be courteous to others and keep 2m apart, and please don't congregate with people you're not living with", well, that's got a chance of being done." has worked really well so far, hasn't it? They tried that. It did not work. What did you do when Boris said "we are advising you to stay indoors"?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

      "currently repaving and refencing his front garden"

      So this, at least, is being done at home and at least some of the materials, wooden panels, are those on which viruses don't survive well.

      "going out several times a day"

      Not, as said elsewhere, against the current SI although maybe contrary to advice.

      It sounds as if he has a coping strategy. It sounds as if you don't.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

        After writing the above it occurred to me that had you been our daughter's neighbour* you might have made a similar comment about her going in her car this morning. In fact she was going to collect her mother's prescription. We're of the generation that was told to stay at home and have stuff delivered a week earlier than everyone else and, despite the airy comment about deliveries the pharmacy delivery service is hard pressed.

        It may well be that your neighbour is actually providing some voluntary service of that sort. Even if he isn't, you could, so why aren't you?

        * In fact, they know better because she shops for them as well as us.

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

      You gave yourself away with "dickhead cyclists" - yes there are some, but only a particular retard uses that term in these conversations.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

        There are lots of dickhead cyclists on the roads.

        They attract attention and behave like twats, frequently riding dangerously - they're the same people who are dickhead drivers when plonked in a driving seat, pulling most of the same dangerous, obnoxious shit.

        The commonality is that they're dickheads. They don't just behave like this on the roads.

        On the other hand there are a lot of people who obey the rules and when it comes to cyclists it's a bit like cops - if you keep making excuses for bad cyclists, you're not one of the good cyclists.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

      Original quote: ""You are strongly requested to stay in your house, and when you go out for exercise, please be courteous to others and keep 2m apart, and please don't congregate with people you're not living with", well, that's got a chance of being done."

      Response: "And Neil Barnes, [original quote] has worked really well so far, hasn't it? They tried that. It did not work. What did you do when Boris said "we are advising you to stay indoors"?"

      Not really connected to the rest of your comment, but you appear to have missed their point. The point was about wording, specifically "order" versus "strongly request". The opinion stated there was that "strongly request", though technically a weaker statement than "order", would have produced a smaller sense of injustice and would have been better adhered to by the public. If you knew that, then you know that "strongly request" was not tried by the U.K. authorities (it is much stronger than "advise", and the statement I found when searching for that one had some limits on it), meaning we can't know whether the stated opinion was correct or not. For the record, although I'm not in the U.K., when I received my suggestion (yes, mine was a suggestion) to stay at home, I did so. I have not come within range of others since that time.

    4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: If you're not part of the solution, you are an idiot.

      @strident AC: it was absolutely clear that the weekend you clearly refer to was people having a "last fling" before locking down. It was the first good weather after winter, and people wanted to feel normal. If Johnson and his be suited thugs had said "We're glad you had a good weekend, now please follow our suggestions or we'll need to bring in more restrictions" there would have been huge compliance - probably more than now. The government were clearly going to bring in the current restrictions regardless, and used the weekenders as an excuse. Now there is growing dissatisfaction (at least in my corner of Fife) amongst people of all ages - how long do you think the lockdown will last once a critical mass is reached?

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Mike 137 Silver badge

    So we've gone beyond non-crme hate

    Clearly we now have even more non-crime offences for which you can be docketed and fined. If the police stuck strictly to enforcing the law as passed it would probably be sufficient, but they are increasingly making up the rules as they go along and justifying it on the basis of "government advice". It is in fact unlawful to do this. But I'm sure it's all done with the best possible intentions.

    "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ... The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home..If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." (US President James Madison)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. osakajin Bronze badge

      Re: So we've gone beyond non-crme hate

      You do realise that this is a 9/11 event but because foreign wars are now passe the enemy has changed.

      So now the war is on, and the enemy? You.

  35. RedCardinal

    >>Wear face protection to prevent you from spreading to others at the very least...

    This isn't an airborne virus. You're only going to possibly inffect other people if you have the virus yourself and cough, sneeze or dribble on them. Just being near someone won't magically infect you or them....

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      "you're only going to possibly inffect other people if you have the virus yourself and cough, sneeze or dribble on them"

      Or near them, or near a surface that they will touch soon after (eg a door handle).

      People who don't yet have symptoms touching their face (eg rubbing their nose), *then* touching the door handle. They feel healthy, why would they care? (he says sarcastically)

      COVID-19 can spread through aerosols - from sneezing and/or coughing - or from "say it don't spray it" plosive Bs and Ps

      Aerosols can very much be airborne. Containing those aerosols (eg with a mask) stops/reduces the spread. Being out of range reduces (not eliminates) exposure - thus the 2m guidance

      I get the worry about overzealous police, but being blazé about the dangers will cost lives.

  36. s. pam
    Trollface

    How would the Plod deal with

    2 people, completely isolated in a wood, shagging each other silly?

    It's really outdoor exercise officer, I promise!

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: How would the Plod deal with

      Shagging is non essential activity. Personally speaking.

      The generation before mine had unprotected sex without consequences. Then HIV.

      The generation after mine won't even be able to hold hands or hug.

  37. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I have just seen on the news the chief of Nottinghamshire police saying that at currently they are not going start searching peoples shopping to see if their journey was essential. But they might begin to do that if people don't heed advise to stay at home.

    It that sort of abuse of power if they do start doing that, that will stop people being behind the police during this crisis. I am sure even with the emergency law that was passed it did not give police the powers to rummage through your shopping to judge it is essential or not, as one one person deems as essential could be not essential to someone else.

    For example I went to buy a birthday card the other day from the local newsagent so I could post it to my mother. Yet that wasn't food or medical supplies so plod my not consider that essential journey. But my life would not be worth living if i hadn't got my mum a card on her birthday so to me it was an essential journey and I went on my own and maintained social distance when in the shop.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      I have just seen on the news the chief of Nottinghamshire police saying that at currently they are not going start searching peoples shopping to see if their journey was essential. But they might begin to do that if people don't heed advise to stay at home.

      I heard that on the R4 News at 1800; I may have misheard but I thought it was Northamptonshire. It was then reported that the CC had retracted after getting a broadside from some politician or other.

      It that sort of abuse of power if they do start doing that, that will stop people being behind the police during this crisis.

      No it's much worse than that; public support for the police generally will be withdrawn and may / will take a long time to recover.

      I am sure even with the emergency law that was passed it did not give police the powers to rummage through your shopping

      No it didn't, but I think there are other statutes that will be used as a reason excuse to carry out a search. Forewarned is forearmed; best to let them get on with it unless you have something you really shouldn't on your person or in your bag. It'll be a nice waste of time for them.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "No it didn't, but I think there are other statutes that will be used as a reason excuse to carry out a search. Forewarned is forearmed; best to let them get on with it unless you have something you really shouldn't on your person or in your bag. It'll be a nice waste of time for them."

        And not forgetting to insist they put on fresh latex gloves before doing so so as not to potentially leave some virus on your shopping.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Loo roll

        Just make sure you always have a loo roll in your car, let's see them argue that as non essential. Failing that a fake Ministerial ID and a pressing need to deliver medicine to granny.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "It that sort of abuse of power if they do start doing that, that will stop people being behind the police during this crisis.

        No it's much worse than that; public support for the police generally will be withdrawn and may / will take a long time to recover."

        It's also possible that public support for the government might be withdrawn during the crisis. In the longer term, of course, that's not a problem, it's democracy; but it does need to be able to maintain support in a crisis.

        1. osakajin Bronze badge

          Did anyone else notice democracy was the first thing that got cancelled way before any laws were passed.

  38. jospanner Bronze badge

    Nothing re-affirms my belief in socialist libertarianism and my belief that the police are arseholes than being pulled over for riding my motorcycle for fun.

    How am I spreading a disease by going out for a ride? Or a drive? This is not a gathering, this is me, alone, on a bike, with a helmet on, with a face covering on, hooning around at under 60mph, officer. Bugger off.

    1. Psmo Silver badge
      WTF?

      Can you share your secret?

      I'm sure people would be interested in the number of the fuel fairy that fills your tank without touching anything.

      1. Mark192 Bronze badge

        Gloves are provided, for free, at every UK petrol station I've ever used... the dispenser is usually built into the top of the bins.

        The almost complete lack of nuance in the current guidance is probably more to do with keeping things simple.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OTT

    A couple of days ago, I was in my car near a small park, killing time (I drive a taxi and our local council licensing department have stated we can carry on - for what it's worth at the moment!) at around 0830 and the entire area was empty except for one dog walker, but was still being surveyed by no less than THREE police officers walking across the area (two mail, one female), who were definitely not heeding the 2-metre rule themselves. Does seem more than a little overkill to me. They do not seem to be consistent either. The day before (same park - later in the day) two officers were strolling along in the sunshine and turfed off two young lads who were having a knock-about with a football but, after having words with an adult, who was tossing a rugby ball back and forth with his young son, it appeared that they let him and his offspring stay. Essentially, what's the difference?

    1. Dom 3

      Re: OTT

      Does the difference really need spelling out? The father and son are already exposed to each 24/7. The two lads could lead the infection to spread from one family to another.

      Meanwhile I want to know why people think it's okay to go shopping in pairs. It means I have to queue for longer and it makes it more difficult to observe the distancing once inside.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OTT

        And maybe the lads were brothers?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Essentially, what's the difference

      It's entirely possible the lads were mates and should not have been out together, whereas the man and son were from the same household. You just don't know, so maybe don't mention it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Essentially, what's the difference

        Or the lads could have been brothers and the man a predatory kidnapper

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Essentially, what's the difference

        And with the divorce rate in the UK, maybe the man and son were not from the same household?

        (Yeah, I know there is special dispensation for that situation, but,well, you know, assumptions an'all)

  40. earl grey Silver badge
    Joke

    i measusre my safe distance in airbags

    Yes, those delightful Bulgarian airbags. Keep myself surrounded at all times.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile in Australia, neighbours are peering out windows to dob in the bloke accross the street (personal experience). Number plate detection implemented on major roads to catch people too far away from home. No approved essential reason for being on the motorway and you're nicked. (I wonder how they drive home?). Taking your daughter for a drive to rack up Driver Learner hours, you're nicked mate.

    Drones have been taken into use in various locations for various tasks, not the least of which is catching CoVid19 offenders.

    The police state has arrived, and the chief copper's speech on TV the other night was indistinguishable from a scene from V. Close your eyes and listen to the words and lie to yourself about not being fearful - it's the only way to keep sane.

  42. quartzz

    it's only semi-related, but the amount of censorship on the BBC news Have Your Say comment section is starting to annoy me (the election brought it all out).

    I have a feeling that the BBC doesn't want a comments section. that's why it makes the comment software as annoying to use as possible, and gives so many options for reporting comments.

    I'm into reporting as many comments on there as possible. I often get quite a few hits. some of them on comments which seem perfectly fine to me. its a side-hobby. hopefully people will get put-off using the site because they get censored.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      They love comments, just so long as they support the powers that be. And are against smoking.

  43. SuperGeek

    Typical British "justice" system

    The one where you get less jail time for killing someone in your car vs. pirating CD's down the pub. Now there's the big bad Corona flu virus, there's more cops around than ever out for swill, and the STREETS ARE EMPTY!!

    Where were the pigs when the streets were crowded and shops being robbed, or Jane Doe having her bag snatched in broad daylight? Eh? You never saw them then, but oh, now there's a new flu strain flying around, they're EVERYWHERE looking for arrests. Even drone shaped pigs in the air! The term "pigs might fly" is more true than ever!

  44. JeffUK

    'Orwellian' is such a cliché:

    Constant attack from an invisible enemy.

    Mandatory weekly group applause

    Public shaming of people who do not conform

    Getting neighbours to turn each other in to the police

    Being arrested for failing to tell the police who you are and what you are doing outside of your home

    Entertainment banned.

    Proletariat forced to work while everyone else shelters safely at home.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      "Proletariat forced to work while everyone else shelters safely at home."

      Please stop reiterating this bollocks. Teachers, nurses, doctors - proletariat? I work in a school. I'm STILL working to keep key workers' and vulnerable children safe. I know several NHS workers, all are very middle class and all are working "on the front line". Don't try to make this a "class" issue.

  45. Peter Christy

    Travellers seem to be immune, however...

    (For those not native to the UK, "Travellers" is the title given to a band of roaming people who live outside the rules and laws of normal society.)

    South-West England is currently enjoying warm, balmy spring weather, a time when the area would normally be flooded with holidaymakers. The economy of the area largely relies on these holidaymakers. However, the police have warned people not to travel during the present crisis, and have been stopping those on the motorways to the South-West who they believe do not have a valid reason for travelling, and sending them back whence they came.

    Except for the "Travellers"! On Wednesday a convoy of "travellers" on the M5 caused a major accident, blocking the motorway for some hours. As a result, two vehicles were seized (one no tax or insurance, the other stolen), another stolen vehicle found, but no trace of the driver, one arrested for drunk driving and another arrested for driving whilst disqualified!

    The police gave the rest of the convoy "strong words of advice/education around travelling in the current pandemic, advised against this and asked to return to the location from where they had travelled." - which they immediately ignored and carried on to Exeter, setting up several camps on public land. The last time they did this, the clearing up cost came to £20,000!

    Despite criminal damage being caused to access the site, the police are not interested in moving them back whence they came, and the council seem powerless.

    In short, the police only seem interested in policing the people who pay their salary, and the scroungers of society remain at liberty to do as they please.

    https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/concerns-more-travellers-hit-devons-4036117

  46. Packet

    Rather funny, this sort of authoritarianism coming out of the woodwork

    It is rather distressing to see this happening pretty much everywhere in the world.

    I refer to all aspects - people not understanding that maintaining separation does reduce transmission of disease, and the attempts at overreach of authority, and the subsequent reduction of civil rights.

    To be expected in any country, in a way, yes - since human behaviour is still the same pretty much, no matter the nationality.

    The only difference being, the laws in some countries allow their populace to question and stand up to protest (without being incarcerated or worse)

    I do question the end game of arrests in any country though - that seems short-sighted from a disease control perspective - actually makes it worse to take all these disparate individuals and put them together.

    and on the other hand, it also speaks to that allure - an overreach of authority reducing civil rights, which is never a good thing (hard to give up the power or entitlement once you have it) and also, from a public servant perspective (like police - a social service existing for the purpose of protecting the people), the many anecdotes mentioned above just adding to that concern.

    Seems no matter the nationality, there's a despotic authoritarian just champing at the bit to get out and impose their no-questions-will-be-tolerated will on society.

    Call it fascist or communist, based on your preference (or abhorrence) of one or the other - they're both bad.

    I have more thoughts, fear of an armed populace, the siren call of authoritarian systems, imposition of will to pervert existing systems of government, people in general being bell ends and not voluntarily reducing transmission - but nah, to what end this lament?

    Disappointing... (pillocks)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need local police to check out the supermarkets occasionally and throw out the pairs of millennials who're very clearly not giving a fuck about social distancing. Maybe instead of telling them not to go on Spring break to we should have told them to go and not come back until this is all over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You complain about one group of people?

      Yes I saw a lot of older people not get it for a few weeks. Some are a bit better. Some still insist on coming in every day and buying a sausage roll.

      Not that they are doing wrong. But that I find it strange as the high risk group, they continue on as normal.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        I don't find it strange at all - they are competent adults making their own decisions. My mum is one of them: mid-80s and going to her local shop every couple of days to support the owners, have a chat, and get some exercise. Also, to show that she won't be told what to do.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "But that I find it strange as the high risk group, they continue on as normal."

        There was a survey by KCL which showed, inter alia that 39% of people thought it was recommended to shop little and often to avoid long queues. https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/life-under-lockdown-coronavirus-in-the-uk

      3. WereWoof

        I usually do my shopping twice a month, but because of lemming panic buyers causing rationing of items to 3 I now have to do my shopping 3 times per week in order to get the things I usually bulk buy (to last me 2 weeks plus a couple extra in case I just need a snack rather than a full meal. I have COPD so this has greatly increased the risk to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How can you tell they're 30-something?

      We're nearly 40 now. We're not teenagers.

      Yes, we don't own property, we've probably never had a stable job, and our kids are under 10, but that's mostly because our parents' and grandparents' generations stole our opportunities from us.

      And recently our grandparents' generation stole our children's futures. Some are now paying for that theft with their lives.

      This makes us very sad, we'd much prefer they had listened to the experts instead of cruel, self-centred career politicians like Michael Gove.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Essential shopping?

    Well seeing as the police are with one hand threatening to start policing what people are buying and the other buying massive carrot cakes from Costco (I was there ONLY for essentials honest gov when I saw two cops walking out side by side carrying one) the level of hypocrisy is astounding.

    That being said I suspect it’s mainly the senior police that are getting a massive stiffy over this.

    As for only going out for essential reasons - what was the reason HRH jug lugs used when he decided to quarantine in his scottish holiday home?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Essential shopping?

      Does a quick dash out from the station to the supermarket (with blue lights flashing) to buy doughnuts count as essential shopping?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Essential shopping?

      "That being said I suspect it’s mainly the senior police that are getting a massive stiffy over this."

      Now that they're being told off by the govt. about this it turns out that it's simply overenthusiastic well-intentioned but uninformed individuals presumably not higher than constables who were responsible. Not senior officers. Definitely not. No way. Shame on anybody for thinking that.

  49. JohnG Silver badge

    What really pisses me off about all this is that the police apparently now have enough resources to pester sunbathers or people sitting on park benches and some chief constables have been talking of searching shopping trolleys, in their Easter egg hunts. But only a few months ago, they were saying they didn't have enough resources to deal with shoplifting or other thefts under £200 value and anything less than tings like serious assaults, murder or rape. And why is they can now tackle sunbathers in a park mob-handed but have previously been unable to send anyone to deal with the drug dealers and alcoholics in the same damn park?

    When all this chaos is over, there ought to be an overall of policing in the UK.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      "When all this chaos is over, there ought to be an overall review of policing in the UK." (is that what you meant?)

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Overhaul?

  50. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Two points

    a) The "hospitals being temporarily shuttered across the US" is some kind of nonsense, the kind of thing Fox News will fabricate. The US medical system has been broken for years, so rural hopsitals have been closing for years, leaving people in those areas with no emergency care whatsoever. New York is having it the worst, having to open emergency hospitals and such; but, no, there are not all these hospitals shuttering now.

    b) If they tried those drones in a lot of the US, they would be shot down. I have to admit I'd probably bring a butterfly net and try to snag it. As a few others have said, here in the states, first there'll be actual police out, not some drone remote-harrassing people. Second, they'll use common sense, hassling people doing stupid things involving large groups or standing way to close together, not people trying to get out and take a walk.

  51. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports

    "The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential."

    https://www.google.com/covid19/mobility/

  52. holmegm Bronze badge

    Fortunately in the US we still have some regional variation on this score, albeit less than could be hoped as the control freak mental state spreads. Not every state is as asinine about it as New York.

    That said, this is inevitable - power corrupts. There's a *reason* that we enshrined in our Constitution the right to peaceably assemble, to freely exercise religion and so forth. It's very worrisome how eager some are just to chuck all that out. Even if we have to temporarily look the other way on it, it should bother us greatly more than it does.

    The people generally are more sensible than their government drones anyway ... for example, we knew that masks were good when our betters were poo-poohing them.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      You can follow your religion in family units. This is going to cull the extreme religious 'bathed in the blood of Christ' nutters. You wouldn't 'peaceably assemble' at an erupting volcano.

      You are correct about face masks though. Wear them and disposable gloves at Church on Sunday, and don't catch anything you can't throw back.

  53. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    On the plus side...

    "French police turn back private jet of holidaymakers from UK"

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/10/french-police-turn-back-private-jet-of-holidaymakers-from-uk

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they could provide an app for collaborators

    Just like in that other totalitarian dictatorship that some in our society would like to emulate:

    https://themediatedimage.com/2017/12/29/december-29th-2017/#more-4431

    Maybe even offer rewards for "good citizenship" or whatever the Ministry of Truth calls it. /s

  55. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Police intimidation

    The BBC ran a story yesterday about thugs threatening the police with the coronavirus, using an audio clip to illustrate this supposed intimidation.

    Epic fail, as the first line is the police officer threatening that if he arrests the member of the public and they go inside then they'll catch the virus and die. The member of the public replies casually that they already have the virus.

    This was meant to show intimidation of the police by the public when it only shows intimidation of the public by the police.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
  56. interested*observer

    Finally, a media outlet that is giving voice to the many people who have legitimate concerns about the over reach of government authorities. Who asked them to be my nanny? I have been very troubled by the Los Angeles Mayor setting up a police state fed by Soviet style informants. Anything these autocrats think is in the public (or personal) good deserves a good squashing of civil rights.

    Fortunately, here in North Carolina walking dogs has not been labeled “non essential” perhaps out of fear in an election year of a flare up in the Southern tendency to rebel. In fact, I’m proud of the Southern Governors leading the way with common sense plans to get society moving again.

    But it takes some courage on the part of someone or someones in the media to demand accountability for the petty dictators.

    My thank you to El Reg and the author for pushing back

  57. gkroog
    Unhappy

    Those people in Britain and America...

    ...should make a point of very publicly asking their elected officials what the police are wasting their tax money on. Maybe they get too much then...

    I remember articles about how the Biritis police claim they don't have enough people to prosecute child abuse cases...

    (https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/not-all-paedophiles-should-be-jailed-suggests-norfolk-chief-constable-simon-bailey-1-4908694)

    And stabbings? Have they been stopped?

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10675945/london-stabbings-2020-murders-knife-crime-statistics/

    No, by early February, almost twenty in London.

    Why aren't these being prioritized?

    Not enough people?

    Easy, there's spare personnel wasting tax payer time and money fiddling with drones...

    And stalking people online to harass them for asking a simple question, and unnecessarily creating a criminal record Harry Miller now has to take them to court for...

    (https://youtu.be/iCxQI9U_xHE)

    It seems that officials and the police are great at enforcing ridiculous, made up regulations seemingly designed to get in the way of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. They must think that will distract everyone from how bad they are at prosecuting real crimes...

    1. Radio Wales
      Flame

      Re: Those people in Britain and America...

      Well we wouldn't know, the 'MSM' is not reporting any news these days that does not begin with with "In other Coronavirus News..."

      We could have lost a world war for all we know.

  58. Radio Wales
    Unhappy

    "We're all in it together"

    I could swear I have come across that little pass-phrase before somewhere.

    If only I could remember where - although to do believe it ended well for some but pretty badly for the rest of us.

    I would be much happier if I never heard it uttered ever again.

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