UK police criticized for using drones to publicly shame walkers in coronavirus lockdown

By for Between the Lines | via Z D Net

UK police officers are being criticized for using drones in remote areas to find individuals potentially flouting the recently-imposed lockdown rules in the fight against COVID-19.

The UK government has implemented what may be deemed a “soft” version of a lockdown. The general public is permitted to leave their homes once a day for exercise and they are also allowed to make crucial grocery shopping trips, to pick up medication, and travel for “essential” work purposes.

Now officers on the beat — of which numbers in England and Wales have fallen by roughly 20,000 since 2010 due to spending cuts — are not only asking retired members of the force to help but are also using drones to cover more areas in their patrols.

There are over 542,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases at the time of writing, with the US, China, Italy, and Spain worst affected. The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has also tested positive and is self-isolating.

Fixed penalty notices are in place for offenders flouting lockdown rules; the first charge being £60, rising to £120 for repeat offenders. Those that refuse to comply may be arrested …  Continue reading

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