The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has urged shoppers to apply “common sense” over what goods can be classed as essential.
Ken Marsh denied allegations that officers had been vetting bags at supermarket check-outs to make sure they contained only essential items.
He told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “There’s a lot of media out there that isn’t quite correct because my colleagues that I’m talking to are not doing that at all…we’re asking for common sense here.”
Under new coronavirus legislation, people are allowed to leave their homes to shop for food and household essentials, but have been told by the government this must be done “as infrequently as possible”.
However, there has been confusion over what items fit into that “essential” bracket.
Mr Marsh called on the government to clarify.
He said: “We need guidelines, very clear guidelines - and at the moment we haven’t got those - in relation to what we should and shouldn’t be doing around who’s purchasing what.”
The police chief went on to ask the public to “bear with” his colleagues in these unprecedented times, saying officers “haven’t had time to digest” the new law that came into force just a few days ago.
He told Mike: “My brave colleagues are out there right now, they don’t want to be doing this, they would like to be two metres plus from everyone single person like we’re being told to be so please bear that in mind.”
Mr Marsh added: “My cops are not going to get it right every time straight away but we're human beings, please bear with us, we're doing it for one reason and that's to save lives.”
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