Cops no longer breaking up outdoor group mixing as they slam 'unmanageable' coronavirus rules after sunny crowds

POLICE no longer want to break up groups outdoors as Covid restrictions are "unmanageable," a union chief has said.

Ken Marsh, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said his members had no desire to carry out the law to the letter after Brits flocked to parks and beaches over the weekend.

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Crowds made the most of the unseasonably warm weather across the country yesterday, with cops seen quizzing Brits in public hotspots. 

Checkpoints were set up to catch lockdown flouters, while PCs were out on duty to send ruler-benders home.

The Met Police also issued £70,000 in penalties to just two parties in central London.

But Ken Marsh told The Telegraph: "Police don't want to police this. We have had enough of this. It is not policeable. It is not manageable."

Officers say they regularly have to break up flouters, having to breach coronavirus restrictions themselves in order to fulfil their duties.

And Mr Marsh said the Metropolitan Police Federation is now seeking legal action as to whether officers could refuse to break rules in the line of duty unless they receive their vaccines.

"We have to break Covid legislation every day of the week," he said.

"What if I turn round and say to my 32,000 members: 'Adhere totally to Covid legislation.'

"That is not what we want, but if we have to do that to protect my colleagues I will do that.

"Ministers are just not listening. It is not right police are having to police huge crowds without the jab. 

"Our vulnerability is massive. We don't have the right to strike, but we are considering sticking to the two-metre rule. We are taking legal advice on it."

His comments came as cops were seen pulling over motorists heading to Barry in South Wales, while community support officers were out in Brighton to break up groups sitting on the beach.

In Portsmouth, a family soaking up the sunshine by the sea wall were seen being spoken to by officers.

Meanwhile, Northumbria Police were seen battling to keep motorists from arriving at the beach in South Shields.

Covid rules will start to relax from next Monday when, when two people can meet in an "outdoor public space" for a coffee, drink or picnic. 

Only by March 29 will six people – or two households – be allowed to meet outdoors, including in back gardens.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the force remained committed to upholding the law but there had to be a "degree of realism" and fines would only be issued in the most serious flouting of regulations such as large-scale, indoor, illegal parties.

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