Met Police chief says they won't be crashing your Christmas dinner
"The police have lots of other things to be doing"
Met Police chief Cressida Dick has said the police will not be interrupting people's Christmas dinners to make COVID-related arrests.
Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, she said the police “no intention” of encouraging officers to be “barging through people’s doors” unless there is a “huge party going on.”
Her comments will be comforting to some people as uncertainty remains over how Christmas will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown rules.
Britain is currently in 'lockdown', with some exceptions, and there is a growing fear that relaxing the rules for the festive season will cause a surge in cases.
Asked whether officers would “bang on the door and count how many people were eating the turkey,” Dame Cressida said:
“The first thing is, just to acknowledge, we will be here, my teams work 24/7 365, and that’s the great thing about something like this police service – it will be there for Londoners, whatever is going on.
“We have no powers of entry, I have no intention anyway of encouraging my people to be barging through people’s doors or knocking on people’s doors, unless you’ve got as we sometimes do, a huge party going on which is clearly very, very dangerous and causing lots of concern – for them, we might be knocking on doors, saying you need to stop this.
“We don’t know what the rules are, let’s see what they are, but I have no interest in interrupting family Christmas dinners.
“The police have lots of other things to be doing.”
Speaking in a personal capacity, Professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London Andrew Hayward said: "Mixing at Christmas does pose substantial risks, particularly in terms of bringing together generations with high incidence of infection with the older generations who currently have much lower levels of infection and are at most risk of dying if they catch Covid.
"My personal view is we're putting far too much emphasis on having a near-normal Christmas.
"We know respiratory infections peak in January so throwing fuel on the fire over Christmas can only contribute to this."