The Metropolitan Police Federation wants parents to be fined if their teenage children breach coronavirus lockdown as other forces seek stronger powers to enforce government rules.
Ken Marsh, the head of the Metropolitan Federation, which represents 30,000 officers in the capital, said police cannot currently enforce government advice for groups of teenagers who refused police instruction to go home and isolate.
'We’ve got to take them home, but when we take them home, why can’t we fine their parents? Otherwise, what’s the deterrent?, Marsh said, according to the Observer.
If police numbers reduce due to officers becoming infected by COVID-19, Marsh thinks it will take three to four days before London becomes difficult to police.
Police powers were bolstered by the Home Office on Thursday, allowing officers to slap people with £60 on-the-spot fines if they're caught outside of the home for non-essential reasons.
Isolation flouters can also be arrested and prosecuted for repeat offences, or knowingly spreading the coronavirus.
Forces across the country see this weekend as an opportunity to observe whether citizens will follow lockdown rules.
Marsh said that depending on the weather, this weekend 'will be the acid test'.
He added that the UK's policing by consent causes additional difficulties, as police can't threaten the public, relying on educating them of government advice to stay inside.
The advised safe distance of two metres could also present challenges in coming days, Marsh said, as officers are supposed to follow the guidance, making arrests difficult.
Marsh's comments come as Britain's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 today as the UK suffered its worst day yet and saw a huge spike in victims.
Boris Johnson is to warn the nation in a letter that tougher measures to ensure lockdown is adhered could be on their way.
Amid allegations of confusing messages on the lockdown, the leaflet will outline the Government's rules on leaving the house and advice on shielding vulnerable people.
A clear explanation of the symptoms will also be included as will guidance on hand washing.
Panic has gripped the nation as it was revealed that today's total number of deaths is 34 per cent higher than yesterday's and today has seen the largest daily increase since March 18, when the total shot up from 71 to 104.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.