Chair calls for large gatherings or protests to be banned
John Apter says officers can no longer be put at risk of contracting virus
John Apter, National Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales:
“In normal times the principle of having the right to peaceful protests is an important one. However, we are not in normal times, we are tackling a deadly virus which is indiscriminate in who it can affect.
“Police officers have provided outstanding professionalism in their dealings with large gatherings during Covid-19 - some of which turned violent at the weekend.
“But we can’t ignore the avoidable risk our members and to those attending the protests are being exposed to. I urge the Home Secretary to be unequivocal in her terms that whilst we are under the threat of this virus, any large gathering or protest must be banned.
“We cannot allow our police officers and members of the public to be put at risk of contracting the virus, especially at such a critical time in our response to the pandemic.”