The police forces of Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Avon and Somerset are the first to live with the systems. It arrives as agents patrolling parks and seaside resorts while people enjoyed the sunny weather. The crackdown included police dying of a black “blue lagoon” to discourage visitors from Derbyshire.
They justified the move, saying that the meetings in Harpur Hill, Buxton, were dangerous and in contrast to the blockade. The same force used drones to control walkers in the Peak District.
Meanwhile in Neath, South Wales, the same device has ordered people to return to their homes.
But critics said the police must be careful not to get over the mark with their new powers.
Professor Robert Dingwall, a public health expert who advises the government on tackling the pandemic, said: “A heavy approach to the police lacks the spirit and science behind social distancing.
“He risks confronting innocent citizens who try to escape the prison of their four walls.
Taking a break is vital if people are to make the required sacrifice.
“We know that mental and physical inactivity has its costs which are in turn long-term fatal.”
The blockade increased pressure on police activities, with officers claiming to be at risk of catching and spreading the virus due to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Many officers are already out of the ordinary.
There are fears that neighborhood patrols may be demolished as the crisis deepens.
Accident responders do not regularly receive PPE unless those who summon the incident confirm that someone on the scene has possible symptoms of the virus.
The National Chief Chief Council (NPCC) declined to confirm the percentage of officers currently under arrest, saying it would be “beneficial for criminals”.
But John Apter, president of the Police Federation, said that a considerable number of agents are self-insulating. He said, “This has a huge impact on our police ability.”
Martin Hewitt, president of the NPCC, said: “We have broadly planned how we will maintain critical police activities for the public with a significant number of officials and ill staff.”
Paul Netherton, Deputy Chief of Police of Devon and Cornwall, said that his force had only one vehicle fully equipped with PPE, nicknamed “Covid Car”, which is sent to high-risk accidents where suspects or victims could be infected. . He said, “We are trying to make sure that every force has that equipment.
“And where we don’t have enough to give every single officer all the time we will send a unit with the kit, as I said the Covid Car will have the kit.”
Katy Bourne, president of the Association of Police and Criminal Commissioners, said that overall the blockade could disrupt the national recruitment plans for 20,000 new officials due to the closure of the assessment centers.
But Nottinghamshire police said they had just had the largest hiring of officers in its history with 72 new recruits who joined last week.
Some crime categories, including shoplifting, saw slight increases this week.
The British Oil Security Syndicate reported an increase of over 20% in people who leave the garages without paying for petrol last weekend.
Cyber fraud related to coronavirus is also on the rise. But overall, the forces saw a crime fall during the blockade.
A MET spokesman said: “The reduction in the number of officers and staff is offset by a reduction in crime and a reduction in calls to us that require an answer.”
This week, people faced court after declaring they had been infected and coughing at the police.
Samuel Konneh, 38, appeared in the Manchester and Salford magistrates’ court on Thursday accused of spitting blood at the police. He was sent back to custody.