Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley had said his force would consider roadblocks, marshalling supermarkets and searching through shopping baskets and trolleys if people continued to flout the rules by purchasing non-essential items.
A DAY after a police force threatened to snoop through people’s shopping baskets, officers elsewhere have taken it upon themselves to decide what counts as ‘non-essential aisles’ in supermarkets.
Police in Cambridge tweeted a picture outside Tesco Barhill during their patrols of supermarkets and green spaces. They said: ‘Good to see everyone was abiding by social distancing measures and the non-essential aisles were empty.’
Cambridge Police’s tweet was met with anger with one person stating: ‘The law doesn’t forbid the purchase of non-essential items when also shopping for essentials such as food. Your officers’ time could be better spent, and over-stepping the law like this harms public confidence in the police.’
Yesterday a Downing Street spokesman said ‘shops that were open are free to sell anything in stock.’ Local MP Anthony Browne said: ‘Troubling you see such messages from @cambscops, who have so far shown common sense in maintaining order under social distancing.
‘As long as social distancing is maintained, shoppers should not feel pressured away from any aisle. Will be raising this with Chief Constable.’ Following the backlash, a statement was issued by the Twitter account that said: For clarification, the force position, in line with national guidance, is that we are not monitoring what people are buying from supermarkets.