BRITS should snitch on neighbours who break the new “rule of six”, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse declared today.
Angry Tory MPs and cops hit out at the snoop order, warning it will turn us into a nation of score-settling busybodies.
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Mr Malthouse urged people to call cops if they see groups of more than six.
If he saw a breach on his road, he said, he would call 101 and “let the police know”.
Adults face a £100 on-the-spot fine if they — or their kids — break the new rule, which kicked in today.
But new stats show less than half of Covid fines have been paid.
Police Federation boss Ken Marsh said of Mr Malthouse: “Does he think we have an endless supply of officers who can just go out to these things? It will be hundreds and hundreds of calls coming in from curtain-twitchers.”
Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said busybodies may try to settle scores.
He told The Sun: “Calling on people to spy on each other is not a particularly good situation to be in.
“Police will be inundated and unable to separate out the trivial from the serious. They could be snowed under with people trying to get even.”
The Sun says
WE have known for months that track and trace is the key to beating Covid.
But the Government just can’t seem to get a robust and efficient programme off the ground.
First ministers and officials spent precious months messing around with a glitchy app. Then they failed to train tracers properly.
And now it transpires there are no tests available in ANY of the top ten Covid-19 hotspots in England.
You’d think politicians would be embarrassed by this litany of errors.
But not a bit of it. Rather than fixing the myriad of testing problems, they’re failing to get on top of them — and slapping the public with overreaching lockdown laws like the “rule of six” instead.
Worse still, they’re ordering Brits to snitch and call the cops if they see their neighbours bending rules.
This is the WRONG approach.
Community spirit got Britain through the darkest days of lockdown.
We clapped on our doorsteps for heroic key workers. We brought food and medicine to the elderly. We got our kids painting rainbows to give local NHS staff a much-needed morale boost.
And IF there is a second wave of deaths and hospitalisations, it will be neighbourliness, not snitching and curtain twitching, that will get us through again.
We must unite our communities, not divide them.
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Tory MP Steve Baker blasted the “Stasi”-like surveillance tactic, warning: “East Germany, here we come.”
But Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said: “If we see people gathering in large groups, we have a responsibility to alert the authorities.”
The fines can rise to £3,200 for repeat offenders. They cannot be appealed but people can refuse to pay and go to court, risking a criminal record.
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