As London is set to enter a new phase of national restrictions, the Met is setting out how officers will work with communities across the city to keep people safe.
From Thursday, significant new restrictions are being introduced in England by the Government, in order to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, the Met’s lead for Coronavirus, said: “Over the course of this awful epidemic, Londoners have responded brilliantly as regulations were introduced, both during the first wave and more recently when alert levels were established. Coronavirus poses a grave threat to everyone and to our NHS and I am confident we will all do the right thing as the heightened restrictions start on Thursday.
“For the rest of today, we remain in the “High Alert” level restrictions, and I know there will be many people thinking about whether they should head out tonight to support the hospitality sector before it closes. It is hugely important that people who are going out, stick to the current regulations and do not see tonight as an excuse for other gatherings or parties that are illegal, and could ultimately put other people’s lives at risk.
“It is vitally important that we’re all sensible, use common sense and stick to the rules. By working together, we can help prevent the spread of this deadly virus which has already claimed so many lives.
“Tonight, we will have more officers on duty to engage with the public and ensure that we all continue to keep each other safe. We are ready and prepared to take enforcement action against those who are deliberately breaching rules and putting people at risk.”
The Met will continue to use the ‘4 Es’ approach of engaging, explaining the regulations, encouraging people to following them and only enforcing as a last resort. However, immediate enforcement action will be taken in those cases where deliberate, dangerous and flagrant attempts have been made to ignore the regulations.
Likewise, officers will continue to support local authorities who are seeking to take action against those licensed premises and any other business that is putting their customers’ health at risk by reckless and dangerous breaching of the current regulations.
In addition to this, the Met will also be working closely with City of London Police and British Transport Police, to reassure the public following events in Europe which yesterday led to the terrorism threat level changing from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’ as a precautionary measure.
DAC Matt Twist, added: “I know Londoners will be anxious following the truly awful attacks across Europe in recent weeks and our hearts are with all those affected. Last night it was announced that the threat level has been increased to “Severe”, this means an attack is ‘highly likely’.
“I would ask Londoners to not be alarmed by this, but to remain vigilant. If you see or hear something that doesn’t feel right to you, let us know.
“In London tonight, we will have a number of policing resources on duty to look out for you and keep you safe. We will be working closely with BTP and City of London Police to provide a heightened policing presence in key areas, such as high streets but also at transport hubs.
“If you have any concerns or if you see or hear anything suspicious, I would urge you to reach out to us and let us know. Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 0800 789 321 or by visiting www.gov.uk/ACT.”