Covid-19: UK police are using drones to 'lockdown shame' people for walking their dogs
- Police officers are using drones to lockdown-shame Brits into staying at home.
- Police forces in remote parts of the UK have set up roadblocks to discourage people from walking in the country's national parks.
- Derbyshire Police posted drone footage of people walking their dogs in the Peak District National Park and labelled it "not essential."
- The footage sparked a furious backlash from Brits who have been told by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that daily exercise is allowed.
- Under emergency legislation passed this week officers can impose fines of £60 (R1 286) with courts able to issue maximum fines of £1,000 (R21 434).
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UK police officers have sparked a public backlash after using drones to "lockdown shame" people for continuing to visit remote areas to exercise and walk their dogs, despite the national coronavirus lockdown.
Derbyshire Police on Thursday posted drone footage of hillwalkers visiting the Peak District National Park.
Footage of two individuals walking their dogs in the park was labelled as "not essential" in the clip.
Other police forces in England have also set up road-blocks and left notes on cars at beauty spots asking walkers why they are not at home, the Times of London newspaper reported.
Under wide-ranging emergency legislation which came into force on Thursday, UK police officers can impose fines of £6o for breaching the lockdown, which will be reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks. Fines for repeat offences rise to £120 in the first instance and can go up to a maximum of £1,000.
Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the #PeakDistrict despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through. @DerPolDroneUnit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and this footage was captured at #CurbarEdge last night. pic.twitter.com/soxWvMl0ls— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) March 26, 2020
The footage was met with anger from many Brits on social media, due to the fact that government guidance explicitly allows for daily exercise, including walking dogs.
This is the first time I've felt more respect for the rule-breakers than the enforcers. Especially given that these people are less - rather than more - likely to pose a viral shedding risk there than near home. And also less likely to have an accident requiring NHS resources— Mike Hind (@MikeH_PR) March 27, 2020
Youâ€™ve lost your bloody marbles.— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) March 26, 2020
Under the terms of the UK national lockdown members of the public can take part in one form of exercise a day, alongside other members of their household, in order to maintain their health.
However, some police forces around the UK have judged that this guidance does not apply to people travelling sometimes long distances to spend an entire day hillwalking.
Derbyshire Police used vehicle number plates to note down the addresses of visitors to the park.
The national lockdown was imposed after widespread reports of members of the public disregarding official advice to stay at home. Some national parks had reported record numbers of visitors in the days leading up to the national lockdown.
Derbyshire Police defended their clampdown on hillwalkers, insisting that such activity did not qualify as "essential" during the lockdown.
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