Derbyshire police criticised for drone footage as force told ‘be consistent’ with lockdown guidelines

Police forces across the UK have been told to be ‘consistent’ with their approach to the lockdown guidelines.

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 11:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 11:37 am

According to the BBC, a document from the National Police Chiefs' Council and the College of Policing says officers must deliver a consistent level of service in a single style and tone, and calls on forces across the country to coordinate their efforts.

The government issued guidance to police forces earlier this week, and officers were given powers to fine people who gather in groups .

Derbyshire Police divided opinion when they used drones to film people parking their cars for walks in the Peak District, and uploaded the footage to social media.

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Derbyshire lockdown. Social distancing-police patrol the streets in Chesterfield.

Lord Sumption, a former Justice of the Supreme Court, told Radio 4's World At One the actions of Derbyshire Police had "shamed our policing traditions".

He said on the show: "I have to say that the behaviour of Derbyshire Police in trying to shame people into using their undoubted right to travel to take exercise in the country and wrecking beauty spots in the fells so people don't want to go there is frankly disgraceful.

"This is what a police state is like. It's a state in which the government can issue orders or express preferences with no legal authority and the police will enforce ministers' wishes.

However, the force said the advice it issued to the public following the overcrowding "was in line with national government advice and echoed what people in our communities were saying".