3PB's Jonathan Underhill reviews new police and local authorities enforcement and prosecution powers under lockdown
16th April 2020
Last month the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020) received Royal Assent and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions (England) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/350 (the ‘Regulations’) came into force. These give wide new enforcement and prosecution powers to the police and local authorities, on health protection grounds.
3PB's crime and regulatory barrister Jonathan UnderhillJonathan UnderhillCall: 2008 reviews these powers and the restricting the movement of people. These actually replace earlier regulations designed to limit the use of, and then close businesses. His briefing identifies that local authority enforcement departments - whether environmental protection, premises licencing, trading standards or any other department with a vested interest - are all capable of investigating and enforcing new offences under the Regulations.
His review also finds that individuals suggesting that sunbathing is an “essential” activity or that finding their cannabis dealer is a legitimate reason to be on the streets will not be the only ones who may find themselves in hot water.