COVID-19 Police state

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Fishnut
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:08 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:00 pm
The legislation is perfectly clear. There are no restrictions on where you can go to take exercise. The word "local" does not appear and as far as law enforcement is concerned, it does not exist.
Is that the most recent legislation? It's says it came into force on 2 December, so is it still current?

ETA I can't remember the precise wording about the tiers but it was something like "region" or similar. I do know that people who were trying to follow the rules and were reading directly from the government website couldn't figure it out.

ETA 2 The advice from gov.uk says,
You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
Last edited by Fishnut on Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sciolus
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Sciolus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:12 pm

Check you've selected "Latest available (Revised)" at top left, and the banner says "no known outstanding effects". Or check that the list of places where Tier 4 applies (last paragraph of Schedule 4) says all of England.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:22 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:12 pm
Check you've selected "Latest available (Revised)" at top left, and the banner says "no known outstanding effects". Or check that the list of places where Tier 4 applies (last paragraph of Schedule 4) says all of England.
I'm sorry, I completely misunderstood your post originally, and somehow got it twisted to 180° from the point you were making. If the legislation has nothing about distance restrictions how can the police fine people? The guidance does say local, but I'm guessing that's just, well, guidance and not enforceable. Which, irrc, is the same thing that happened last time so why are the police repeating the same mistake again?
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lpm
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:35 pm

Because they are petty people who prefer to wander pretty countryside bossing people around, rather than get bottles thrown at them when shutting down an illegal party.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:15 pm

From an actual police state:
Covid-19: Singapore woman jailed for hiding meetings with male friend

A woman in Singapore who concealed her meetings with a male friend from coronavirus contact tracing has been sentenced to five months in prison.

Oh Bee Hiok, 65, was worried her family would think she was having an affair if she disclosed the meet-ups.
Officials discovered the outings after reviewing CCTV and other material.

Singapore uses strict measures to try to keep infections in check. It has recorded 29 deaths and comparatively few cases.
Mrs Oh met up with 72-year-old Lim Kiang Hong five times before she tested positive for Covid-19 in February.

The pair would meet for lunch, dinner or tea when Mrs Oh's husband was out playing badminton, a prosecutor in the case said, according to the Straits Times.

"She did not want her family or Lim's family to find out that they were going out so frequently, as she thought that their family and friends would suspect that they were in a romantic relationship and spread rumours about them being in an extra-marital affair," court documents said.

[...]

Using parking records, credit card statements, call records and CCTV, authorities were able to discover the meetings between the pair.

The judge in the case called Mrs Oh's reasons for concealing the outings "selfish... within the pressing public interest need to control the pandemic", according to broadcaster CNA, quoted by AFP news agency.

During the ruling on Friday, he added that the court needed to send a message that hiding information from contact tracers was "totally unacceptable".

Mrs Oh pleaded guilty to the charge of hindering contact tracing efforts.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55579775

As as an aside:
The city has reported nearly 60,000 infections.
Just a bit more than London yesterday. Which isn’t an argument for autocracy as New Zealand or Finland have managed fine. But still, f.ck.

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Grumble
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:43 pm

Am I a bad person if I go for a walk at lunch then a run in the evening?
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Hunting Dog » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:59 pm

I can't see a very useful way of defining 'local' that would achieve what I assume are the aims.

Around here (suburban residential area) driving 3 miles to walk around some currently unused playing fields, or open woodland, to avoid more crowded pavements close by could be logical on an individual basis and helpful overall.

Everyone within 3 miles radius driving to a pretty beach or beauty spot for their walk not so useful... Without prescribing limits for individual places I'm not sure how you get around that.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by shpalman » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:18 pm

Lincolnshire Police fined 367 people over COVID breaches
Eight fines were for breaches of face coverings regulations and another eight for international travel regulations.
It's not particularly interesting but it does link to the full England and Wales data over the period 27 March - 20 December.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Giroliddy » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:28 pm

From https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lo ... exercising
"If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

Seems a lot easier to interpret than setting some arbitrary distance value, which immediately have people starting with "but It was only 5.1 miles" "it was only 5.5 miles " "it was only 6 miles" etc.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Giroliddy » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:35 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:35 pm
Because they are petty people who prefer to wander pretty countryside bossing people around, rather than get bottles thrown at them when shutting down an illegal party.
I'm not able to find any specific references to Derbyshire Police not shutting down illegal parties - are there any? Or was this a generalised anecdote about the police? Seems like the same sort of argument that speeding drivers, for example, have with "shouldn't you be out catching real criminals"

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:37 pm

Giroliddy wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:28 pm
From https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lo ... exercising
"If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

Seems a lot easier to interpret than setting some arbitrary distance value, which immediately have people starting with "but It was only 5.1 miles" "it was only 5.5 miles " "it was only 6 miles" etc.
Is a 10 mile run permitted exercise? Genuine question, I’ve done one recently and plan to do a half marathon sometime in January. Mostly I run in the countryside, but always from my door so I don’t travel to exercise. It’s quite possible that I will end up in Derbyshire on a run, as I live near the border, so I may well end up being stopped by Derbyshire’s finest. Even a 5k run (3 miles) will take me to the next village and back. I don’t think running in the countryside is nearly as likely to bring me close to people as if I stay strictly local.

(And when I say “think” I mean “in my experience”)
Last edited by Grumble on Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:39 pm

Giroliddy wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:28 pm
From https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lo ... exercising
"If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

Seems a lot easier to interpret than setting some arbitrary distance value, which immediately have people starting with "but It was only 5.1 miles" "it was only 5.5 miles " "it was only 6 miles" etc.
I agree that that easier to interpret. But the definition of local they give is in the Travel section, not in the Exercise section (and the travel section comes after so you can't even argue that they'd defined their terms by then) and has this caveat for outdoor exercise
This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
This is the exact same problem we had during the first lockdown and I'm really quite amazed* that they didn't sort this out this time round.

*well, really, I'm not, because it would require learning from mistakes and if there's one thing this government this government has excelled in during the pandemic it's not learning from mistakes.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Giroliddy » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:56 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:37 pm
Giroliddy wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:28 pm
From https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lo ... exercising
"If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

Seems a lot easier to interpret than setting some arbitrary distance value, which immediately have people starting with "but It was only 5.1 miles" "it was only 5.5 miles " "it was only 6 miles" etc.
Is a 10 mile run permitted exercise? Genuine question, I’ve done one recently and plan to do a half marathon sometime in January. Mostly I run in the countryside, but always from my door so I don’t travel to exercise. It’s quite possible that I will end up in Derbyshire on a run, as I live near the border, so I may well end up being stopped by Derbyshire’s finest. Even a 5k run (3 miles) will take me to the next village and back. I don’t think running in the countryside is nearly as likely to bring me close to people as if I stay strictly local.

(And when I say “think” I mean “in my experience”)
I have no idea (sorry!) - I'm not trying to set myself up as some sort of arbiter. To me, a 10 mile run is entirely within the spirit of the guidance as it's starting and finishing in the same area; mind you I would say that as I did a 13 mile run last Sunday (starting and finishing at my home). I interpret the guidance as trying to stop people travelling unnecessarily, and it's far easier to enforce that by having the police make checks on car parks, beauty spots etc. where lots of people may congregate than it would be having to pull over every solo runner and ask to check their Strava feed.

Going back to the original story, I do think that the two people stopped at the reservoir were not exercising in the spirit of the guidelines. Whether they should have been fined (as opposed to a quiet word) is harder to say as it is only their side of the story that is being reported - maybe the police were heavy handed, maybe the couple were looking for a fight to make a political point about something, I have no information either way.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Hunting Dog » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:08 pm

When the first lockdown happened and we were a bit less sure about what we could do we did 3 mile+ runs (trying to emulate parkrun on Saturdays) by running around approx 250m circuits around the residential block or closely adjacent green.

The length time of run/walk doesn't have to coincide with distance from home apart from the boredom threshold, or suitability of the area adjacent to your house.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by KAJ » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:39 pm

Giroliddy wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:56 pm
Going back to the original story, I do think that the two people stopped at the reservoir were not exercising in the spirit of the guidelines. Whether they should have been fined (as opposed to a quiet word) is harder to say as it is only their side of the story that is being reported - maybe the police were heavy handed, maybe the couple were looking for a fight to make a political point about something, I have no information either way.
IMHO whether they were or were not "exercising in the spirit of the guidelines" is irrelevant to "[w]hether they should have been fined". If they were not breaking the law they should not have been fined.

It is not "only their side of the story that is being reported", statements by the police have been quoted and those quotations have referred to breaches of the spirit of the guidelines, not to breaches of the law. I've looked on their website and can't find mention of this incident there.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:17 pm

Hunting Dog wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:08 pm
When the first lockdown happened and we were a bit less sure about what we could do we did 3 mile+ runs (trying to emulate parkrun on Saturdays) by running around approx 250m circuits around the residential block or closely adjacent green.

The length time of run/walk doesn't have to coincide with distance from home apart from the boredom threshold, or suitability of the area adjacent to your house.
It’s the suitability bit I’m most concerned with. If I’m on a country path and I encounter someone 5k away from home I’m very likely to be able to give them room. If I’m within a 1k circle from my home there’s less scope to give them room on a pavement. I think we should be encouraging people to get outside more not less.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by veravista » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:20 pm

The problem with the stay local rule, especially the bit about your 'village' is that it's sort of an urban dwellers interpretation. I live in a village which is little more than a main street with a few estates. My doctor and the local Coop are in the next village about 10 minutes walk away, another 10 minutes and there is a large town which is in a different county. The housing runs continually apart from a few small brooks which are the boundaries. Go the same distance the other way and we have a group of three villages with a couple of hundred meters of green belt separating them which then blends into a city. Walk down the river, across the footbridge and it's yet another county.

I can (and quite often do) walk the dog and span all 3 counties in under an hour. Legal or illegal?

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Grumble » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:22 am

veravista wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:20 pm
The problem with the stay local rule, especially the bit about your 'village' is that it's sort of an urban dwellers interpretation. I live in a village which is little more than a main street with a few estates. My doctor and the local Coop are in the next village about 10 minutes walk away, another 10 minutes and there is a large town which is in a different county. The housing runs continually apart from a few small brooks which are the boundaries. Go the same distance the other way and we have a group of three villages with a couple of hundred meters of green belt separating them which then blends into a city. Walk down the river, across the footbridge and it's yet another county.

I can (and quite often do) walk the dog and span all 3 counties in under an hour. Legal or illegal?
Completely legal, but whether the police let you do it is another matter.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Sciolus » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:48 am

Let's remember what the rules (both law and guidance) are actually trying to achieve: To control the spread of the virus by minimising the time people spend in close proximity to other people. It's that simple.*

OK, everyone here gets that, just Derbyshire Police don't.

So, it really doesn't matter if you drive 100 miles and go for a walk somewhere quiet where you can stay 100 yards away from anyone else. That is solidly within the spirit and intent of the rules. It is far better than pounding the streets in your local built-up area where hundreds of other people want to do the same on the same narrow pavements.

The point of "stay local" is to keep the disease spreading from one area to another. You don't want people from London travelling to Cornwall and spending time in pubs and shops, absolutely. But this isn't what the Derbyshire Two were doing, and since everywhere is currently closed there is limited opportunity for anyone to do it much; no-one goes 50 miles to the supermarket. Just don't lick the car door handles.

The other reason for "stay local" is to manage honeypot sites, which may have plenty of space inside but tend to have bottlenecks such as car parks and toilets, and which make for great low-angle "look at these crowds" photos in the newspapers. But overall staying local is more likely to leave people concentrated together than allowing them to travel a bit.


*I wish English laws had recitals, that list of "whereas" clauses at the beginning which explain the context, why the law has been introduced and what it is trying to achieve.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:20 am

Sciolus wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:48 am
So, it really doesn't matter if you drive 100 miles and go for a walk somewhere quiet where you can stay 100 yards away from anyone else. That is solidly within the spirit and intent of the rules. It is far better than pounding the streets in your local built-up area where hundreds of other people want to do the same on the same narrow pavements.
100 miles is too long. Many people driving that far will involve lots of stops to go to the toilet on the way home, some fuel stops and the occasional breakdown.

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by tenchboy » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:28 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:20 am
Sciolus wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:48 am
So, it really doesn't matter if you drive 100 miles and go for a walk somewhere quiet where you can stay 100 yards away from anyone else. That is solidly within the spirit and intent of the rules. It is far better than pounding the streets in your local built-up area where hundreds of other people want to do the same on the same narrow pavements.
100 miles is too long. Many people driving that far will involve lots of stops to go to the toilet on the way home, some fuel stops and the occasional breakdown.
Yep. With Scoly otherwise, but driving has go to be minimal: even a minor shunt - a cracked rib a sprained ankle or that thing that happens to necks - means paramedic/ambulance/hospital attendance which ties up resources and well... right now you don't want to be anywhere near a hospital.
Depends where you are obvs and Scoly, I'm sure, only used 100 miles as a big round number to illustrate the point, and the whole point is that no distance has been specified so that one person's 6 or 8 miles might take 2 or 3 for one or 10 or 20 for another. But a nundred is pushing it.
f.ck me but this gets complicated!

ETA to add: else I'd a bin down Braclesham Bay all summer long on the beach wi me tits out!
And a '

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by veravista » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:03 pm

One of Mrs V's friends lives fairly remotely and cut across the fields to Foremark (where the picnic two were caught) and she received a FPN too, because, again, she had crossed a county border to get there. She has now been told it's being reviewed.

There is a difference between interpreting the guidelines and enforcing the law which Derbyshire plod have missed spectacularly (again).

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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Fishnut » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:44 pm

What a surprise,
The force said all fixed penalty notices will be reviewed after it received clarification about the coronavirus regulations from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which informed them that “Covid regulations which officers enforce and which enables them to issue FPNs (fixed penalty notices) for breaches, do not restrict the distance travelled for exercise”.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by shpalman » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:21 pm

Well I'm sure the next version of the law will include something to clarify that the intent of the rules regarding exercise is not to let you drive for miles just to walk around a bit.

Just like during the first lockdown the rules originally said you needed a good reason to go out and oH ThaT MeaNs THAT AS LonG as I had a GoOd REAsOn FOr GoINg OuT i CaN stAy OuT AS LoNg as I LIke and, no, that's not what they intended, and they changed it so that you needed a good reason to be out.
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Re: COVID-19 Police state

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:37 pm

OTOH if some people really really really can't not meet their friends it's much better that they do so walking around in the countryside than sneakily in each another's houses.

The actual risk of transmission from a countryside stroll is still pretty close to 0 unless you're holding hands and snogging while you do it, so it depends on whether cracking down on walkers would result in (a) closer obedience to the spirit of the law or (b) riskier forms of rule-breaking.
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