Coronavirus: New support and powers for police

Giving the police new powers and support

The Prime Minister has been clear on what we need to do, stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives - and we are committed to ensuring that people only leave their home for very limited purposes. That is why we are giving the police the powers they need to enforce these rules, including the ability to issue fines and disperse gatherings - and announcing that we have recruited 1,500 more officers and are relaxing tax and pension rules so we can boost police capacity further. By giving the police the powers and resources they need - we are protecting the public and keeping as many people as possible safe from this terrible disease.

We are doing this by:

  • Giving our police the powers they need to ensure everyone stays at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives. If members of the public are not staying at home - except under specific circumstances, the police now have the powers to instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse.
  • Issuing fixed penalty notices to deter people from breaking the rules. Officers can issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days, and a further fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence.
  • Recruiting more police officers to keep our streets safe and enforce these powers. Around 1,500 police officers have already joined forces across England and Wales since September 2019 –as part of our drive to recruit 20,000 more officers by 2023.•Boosting police capacity so that excessive work pressures are not placed on officers. We will ensure that existing Civil Servants who are already volunteering as Special Constables are able to assist in the national effort to the greatest extent possible.
  • Committing to relaxing tax and pensions rules for officers, so that more people can return or stay in the force during this challenging time. In recognition of their value and expertise and to increase capacity and resilience, we have committed to relaxing tax and pensions rules which could deter officers nearing retirement and those recently retired from returning to serve.•Encouraging the private security sector to support our response to coronavirus, easing pressure on frontline police officers. We are in contact with the Security Industry Authority about what more they can do to encourage the private security sector to support the national response to coronavirus.