The response comes after initial patrols following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the nation will be going into lockdown effective immediately.  

By Omar Alleyne-Lawler, Communications Officer

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday 23rd March 2020 that the nation would be going into a state of lockdown.

It meant that movement across the community would be seriously impacted to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst travel and social calls will be heavily restricted, the government and police have made a list of allowances for travel outside of the home. These include:

  • Shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible and no more than once a day;
  • One form of exercise a day – e.g. a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with your household;
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

However, these allowances do not include the following:

    • All non-essential retail, including clothing and electronics stores, and other premises including libraries, communal places within parks (playgrounds), and places of worship (except for funerals) will be required to close;
    • All gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding households or work-related, are banned; and
    • All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals with immediate family are also banned.

North Area BCU Commander, Treena Fleming issued a clear warning to members of the public who did not follow guidelines stating; “Anyone who is not following the restrictions set out by Government is being spoken with by my officers and reminded of the advice. This is the same for non-essential businesses that have remained open. We have needed to speak with some groups where we have seen them gathering in parks and these groups have then dispersed.”

Despite the need to take action, Commander Fleming was happy with the ‘majority’ of people who were heeding advice, noting that the communities decision to stay home was one that was slowing the spread of the virus and potentially saving lives.

Lastly, whilst the list of prohibited travel arrangements has been extensive, the North Area Policing teams have recognised that not everyone feels comfortable or is able to report crimes via phone.

As such, front desks at police stations will be remaining open and investigations into crimes will continue to take place. Additionally, there is an online service for reporting crimes also should meeting a member of staff or calling be inconveninent.

Anyone who wants to report a crime in North Area is asked to do so via the Met police’s website: or by tweeting @MetCC.