NYP cracks down hard on Scarborough
Non-Essential Journeys #25
This is the latest in a very popular series of articles on the North Yorkshire Police (NYP) betraying the public confidence and blatantly flouting the COVID regulations, while enforcing them on other people.
Following on from the NYE’s appeal for information on Police Officers breaching the regulations, Tim Hicks has obtained footage inside Force Headquarters and Fulford Road Police Station, of Police Officers who appear to be ignoring the COVID 19 guidance.
Non-Essential Journeys 25: NYP cracks down hard on Scarborough
by TIM HICKS
This statement for the North Yorkshire Police (NYP) website gives the latest numbers of Fixed Penalty Notices issued by-NYP for Covid breaches in North Yorkshire. Please note how Scarborough is leading the field in prosecutions.
Breaches of the Lockdown Regulations by Police Officers in North Yorkshire
These fixed penalty notices have proved controversial, because there have been numerous examples of breaches of the regulations by Police Officers in North Yorkshire, who have gone unpunished.
- Three Officers from Cleveland Police visited Whitby, parked up on the Fish Pier and were all seen having a wonderful time sitting on the same bench in the sun, feasting on fish and chips in full view of the public.
- One of our readers recently photographed two Officers from North Yorkshire Police (NYP) in York who were openly wandering around without masks and ignoring social distancing at the Clifton Moor shopping centre, York.
- Chief Constable Winward undertook a visit to Selby Police Station, thereby risking spreading the virus from Selby into Force Headquarters.
- Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Phil Cain visited Scarborough Police Station, thereby risking spreading the virus from Scarborough Police Station into Force Headquarters. While he was there he posed for photographs with a long serving officer without masking up or observing social distancing.
Obviously, it is deeply regrettable that Police Officers should appear to publicly flout the lockdown regulations or unnecessarily risk contracting the virus, at a time when Officers of North Yorkshire Police are arresting members of the public and fining them for committing similar offences.
Following the NYE appeal for information offering a reward for information on Police Officers breaching the regulations (see below), these two videos have been brought to my attention:
- This video by a YouTube blogger shows masked and unmasked staff sharing an office at NYP Force Headquarters at 2:00. At 3:09 it shows an Inspector and two Constables not maintaining social distancing inside force headquarters, one of whom is not masked.
- This video by a YouTube Blogger was taken at Fulford Road Police Station, York. At 3.22 a member of Police staff is shown in a room with another member of Police staff unmasked. He is maintaining the two metre social distance. It is unclear which desk is his, or if it is within two metres of the masked member of Police staff. However a third female member of Police staff who is masked is seen moving through the office. It is unclear if she is within two metres of him, but this would indicate that he should have been masked. At 8:22, PC Moseley is seen unmasked when his colleagues are masked and within two metres of a female colleague.
I would emphasise that it even if a breach of the regulations has not occurred, it is the breach of the spirit of the regulations, failure to set an appropriate example and to maintain public trust that is just as important.
So it appears that nothing has changed. Despite the publicity, Police Officers from North Yorkshire Police are still routinely ignoring the COVID regulations on the one hand, while enforcing them on members of the public, on the other.
I can only conclude they are inspired by the magnificent examples of Chief Constable Winward and Deputy Chief Constable Cain, and are secure in the knowledge that no action will be taken against them if they are caught breaching the regulations.
A word on self proclaimed “Auditors/Social Media Bloggers”
The above two video clips come from people who call themselves “Auditors or Social Media Bloggers”. They go to places and film in public to see if they get a reaction. The above two video clips are typical examples of people filming – in this case at a Police Station – allegedly for some higher purpose, but in reality to provoke a confrontation, in this case with the Police.
Although I have used these two clips to illustrate the article for the purpose of raising awareness of an important issue in policing in North Yorkshire, I do not agree with this type of journalism/blogging.
As you can see from the two clips above, they succeeded in provoking the Police into taking unnecessary and excessive action against them at force headquarters. This was particularly disappointing, given that they were not committing an offence and were only filming in a public place. An Inspector from West Yorkshire Police was recently prosecuted in a similar incident (video here), which illustrates the potential dangers of Police use of force against people that are filming in public. (The CPS took over the prosecution and refused to offer any evidence on this occasion).
I am pleased to say that the response of PC Moseley and his colleagues at Fulford Road Police Station was more intelligent and measured.
The excessive response at Force Headquarters would I believe have been avoided, if the Officers concerned had the benefit of guidance in the form of a policy on being filmed in public.
Some time ago, I wrote to Chief Constable Winward asking her to adopt a Force policy for interactions with members of the public that were filming the Police. This seemed to me to be an essential requirement given the huge increase in video filming on mobile ‘phones and the willingness of the public to film interaction with the Police. However, sad to relate, she refused to do this, or to adopt the Metropolitan Police policy on filming in public.
Happily, wiser counsels have now prevailed. The National Police Chiefs Council has issued a policy on Police interaction with “Auditors/Social Media Bloggers”. It can be read here. The guidance was implemented because of the increasing number of people that are filming the Police and is required to be circulated to all Police Officers, as I originally suggested to Chief Constable Winward.
Apart from the reference to the Mental Health Act, the guidance seems to me to be a very reasonable guide. It prohibits Police Officers from using terrorism as a pretext to arrest or harass people that are filming them. It also emphasises the ACPO 2010 guidance that the Police have no powers to prevent photography and that good media relations are essential to the Police service.
The guidance emphasises the importance of remaining calm and professional when interacting with people that are filming them. (I thought PC Moseley and his colleagues were a good example of this – particularly when compared to their colleagues at Force Headquarters, who were obviously not compliant with the NPCC guidance).
I have made reference to it in this article because it is a topical subject and so our readers that are photographers/videographers and Police Officers will have access to it.
In my next article, I will bring our readers up to date with the complaints I have made about Police Officers that have breached the COVID-19 regulations.
NYE appeal for information
If you become aware of a public figure or Police officer breaching the lockdown regulations, please photograph or video him/her and make a note of the:
- Registration no of their vehicle.
- If possible, their rank and Police collar numbers.
- Other circumstances.
Then inform the NYE using the firstname.lastname@example.org email. The NYE will pay a reward for these photographs, in accordance with standard journalistic practice.
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If you are mentioned in this article and do not agree with the views expressed in it, or if you wish to correct any factual inaccuracy, please let me know using the email@example.com email address and your views and a correction will be published if appropriate.