GIVE POLICE THE POWER TO DEAL WITH RAVERS
THREE-QUARTERS of people think the police should be given more powers to prevent mass gatherings until coronavirus is under control, a poll reveals.
According to research, 73 per cent of those polled support more police power, with only one in 10 against such action.
The findings by Redfield & Wilton Strategies arrive as concern mounts that illegal “raves” across the country are a threat to public health – and anger that police who attempt to break up these parties have come under attack.
More than eight out of 10 of those polled (81 per cent) support tough sentences for people who attack police officers, with a mere six per cent disagreeing.
Seven officers were injured when they tried to shut down an illegal street party in White City, west London, on Friday night, with yobs pelting the police with missiles.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “The violence shown towards officers this evening was totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form. Officers encountered bricks and other missiles being thrown at them.”
It followed violence in Brixton, south London, last month which left 22 officers injured.
Tory MP Lee Anderson, who this weekend is taking part in a clean-up exercise after a rave in his Ashfield constituency, called for tough action to stop the illegal parties.
He condemned “mindless yobs and morons who seem hellbent on ignoring all the lockdown rules and disrespecting our police”.
He added: “Unless any of these people have been living on the moon for the last three months they know that hundreds of thousands of people on this planet have died from this awful disease.”
He called for more forthright action against those who attend such gatherings and expressed his anger at the people who attack the police.
He said: “It absolutely disgusts me. It’s time we started arresting some of these people.
“The vast majority of people are obeying all the rules and the guidelines. But it’s just this minority again, this few per cent who think the rules don’t apply to them.”
The poll shows that more than seven out of 10 of us (72 per cent) expect the country to be hit with a second wave of coronavirus.
Nearly six out of 10 (58 per cent) say people who broke the rules, or were not cautious will be to blame if this disaster happens. Just 31 per cent would put the responsibility on the Government for easing lockdown restrictions too quickly.
The polling shows that 29 per cent of people would not have a coronavirus vaccine, or are uncertain about having one.
However, 71 per cent of respondents said they would have a vaccine if one becomes available at little to no financial cost within the next year.
The pollsters also addressed the issue of racism in the UK. More than half (53 per cent) said it remains a significant problem, with fewer than one in five (19 per cent) disagreeing.
There was also considerable support for police officers who “took the knee” during recent Black Lives Matter protests. Nearly half (46 per cent) of people said the officers were right to do so, 26 per cent disagreed.
However, 40 per cent said that the UK is not a racist country, with just one in three disagreeing. Thirty-nine per cent thought systemic racism was more a perception than a reality and 32 per cent disagreed.
Seven out of 10 said such people should face tough sentences for attacking war memorials or statues. Only one in 10 disagreed.
‘Time we arrested some people’