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POLICE in Gloucestershire were ridiculed today for “gallivanting” around parks on quad bikes in search of people flouting the government’s lockdown rules.
Gloucestershire Constabulary’s rural-crime team posted on Twitter that officers on quads would be making sure people “are being sensible” and not driving to popular walking spots.
The warning came after some people from Portsmouth and London were found to have driven to the Cotswolds.
But the force’s method of policing the social-distancing rules was questioned on social media.
“If you want to make sure people aren’t driving to walking spots, wouldn’t it be easiest done by checking the car parks?” one Twitter user asked.
“Using a normal police car? Rather than gallivanting unnecessarily on a quad bike?”
It follows accusations last week against Derbyshire Police of “lockdown shaming” after the force released drone footage of a couple who drove to the Peak District for a walk.
Officers claimed that travelling to the remote area did not count as “essential travel,” but civil-liberties group Big Brother Watch branded the move “sinister” and “counterproductive.”
Police were out in force today to stop people gathering in the sunshine.
In Peckham Rye, south London, a police van was heard blaring: “No sunbathing: exercise only, please. Thank you.” Nearby Brockwell Park was closed by the local council after 3,000 people went there on Saturday.
Health Minister Matt Hancock warned today that the government may restrict people’s freedom to exercise outdoors if it’s clear that guidelines are not being adhered to.
The Gloucestershire team responded to the tweets to confirm that they were patrolling “to make sure everyone is being sensible” and not to arrest or fine people.
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