Federation calls for clear guidance as lockdown eases

31 March 2021

South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne has called for “absolute clarity” from the Governments in Wales and England about what’s expected of police and the public as lockdown restrictions ease.

Steve emphasised the need for clear guidance from leaders ahead of an expected Welsh Government review tomorrow (1 April).

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

Steve said: “One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced throughout the pandemic has been enforcing the restrictions and keeping the public onside.

“The rules have been constantly changing in Wales and across the border in England. It’s been confusing for people and some have sought to take advantage of that confusion.

“It’s also been confusing for officers at times. Indeed, the Federation’s own demand, capacity and welfare survey found only one in 10 officers felt previous regulations are clear.

“As lockdown restrictions ease, the public and my colleagues need clear guidance and we need it as early as possible so people know what they can do.

“We need absolute clarity when the legislation is changed or new guidelines are issued to stop people deliberately flouting the law and to ensure we continue to have the full support of the public.

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

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

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

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