Posted on Apr 05, 2021
A Roman Catholic Church in London has it would complain to the police after officers shut down a Good Friday service on the grounds it broke COVID-19 lockdown rules limiting the size of congregations.
Footage on social media showed two officers entering the Christ the King Polish Catholic Church in Balham, south London, while the service was taking place.
One was heard telling the congregation: “This gathering is unfortunately unlawful under the coronavirus regulations we have currently. You are not allowed to meet inside with this many people under law.”
The officer those who failed to comply with instructions to go home with fines of £200 pounds.
Official coronavirus guidance states communal worship or prayer can be attended by as many people as a place of worship can accommodate, as long as they are socially distanced. Masks should be worn, according to the government rules. The church itself insisted that social distancing and facemarks requirements were being fully observed meaning that no offence was being committed.
Following widespread condemnation of the police actions, the officers returned to the church on Sunday, during Mass.
The police were here again today, but I wonder if they were here to try and catch us out. They are scared they made a mistake so now want to prove that we are breaking the rules in whatever way they can find, so they came back to check up on us... Also the police were not very respectful. The female officer came in, walked around and stood on the altar. I don't know if she doesn't believe in God, but it could have been handled better and more respectfully.
At the time the raid on the church was taking place, hundreds of demonstrators were taking part in protests against the UK''s new “Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill”.
The new bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests - including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance -with those convicted liable to fines or jail terms.
There has been much criticism of the police's handling of protests, and their enthusiasm for issuing fines to citizens who may be walking their dogs "too far from home" (although current legislation does not specify what is an acceptable distance from home).
This comes against a background of falling crime clear-up rates: in 2019/20, for example, there were over 402,000 burglaries in England and Wales. With two-thirds of burglaries not investigated at all, in 2017 the London's Metropolitan Police was slammed when it announced it would no longer to respond to burglary if the suspect could not be easily identified and if the victims were not deemed to be in danger.
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- The day Britain's police knelt in submission to the mob
The current Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, generally considered by the public as "inept", and obsessed with "hate-crimes", has been under considerable pressure to resign, but appears to show no sign of stepping down early.
Main image: RHaworth via Wikipedia.
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