Police are ‘ swamped’ by snitch callers
POLICE forces are putting extra staff in 101 call centres amid fears they are being swamped by the public snitching on their neighbours.
People are reporting each other for breaking “the rule of six” in such large numbers that senior officers are worried the system cannot cope.
Some are only calling 101 as a result of grudges with their neighbours, sources say.
A senior officer said: “There are discussions about how the 101 system can cope, and whether increased resources need to be looked at across the board.
“We don’t want a situation where people calling about Covid- 19 breaches are blocking others from getting through about other serious crimes.” The police’s role in controlling the spread of the virus came under renewed focus yesterday as Boris Johnson outlined tough new penalties for people who “brazenly defy” restrictions.
The PM also revealed forces will be able to request military support.
But National Police Chiefs Council chair Martin Hewitt said: “Policing is a unique role and any military support must be assessed very carefully. At the moment, no military involvement is necessary, nor do we anticipate this will be needed.
“The rise in the spread of the virus should concern us all, and it should be everyone’s priority to drive these numbers down. The country is at a critical point, and personal choices will matter in the weeks to come. Police will to with their communities and issue fines as a last resort.”