Met forced to ‘strongly remind’ six police officers of coronavirus rules after photos appear to show them gathering indoors with drinks

Josh Salisbury (29 May, 2020)

The Instagram photos posted on Wednesday, May 20 appear to show the officers gathered in a house with drinks

28696Image: New Scotland Yard

The Met has been forced to give six of its own officers a dressing down over the coronavirus rules, after photos obtained by the News appeared to show them gathering in a house for a drink.

A concerned member of the public contacted this paper with the photographs, saying that those pictured were all PCs attached to Southwark and Lambeth police, having a drink in a PCs house.

The group shots, posted on four separate accounts on Wednesday, May 20, appear to show the six officers gathering in a house for a drink.

The event also allegedly appeared on one of the PCs Instagram story. The News is choosing not to name those involved.

Lockdown rules forbid people from separate households mingling in-doors to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

The rules currently state that only one person can meet another person from another household from a 2m distance outdoors at a time.

The Met Police was asked by this paper to confirm whether all six pictured were officers, and whether they had been sanctioned for the apparent flouting of the rules.

A spokesperson for the force confirmed that the six officers involved had been “strongly reminded” about the need to follow the rules, adding coppers are not above the guidelines.

“The officers involved have been strongly reminded that they must respect the guidelines,” said the force.

“Police are not above government guidelines around social distancing.”

The Met confirmed that the officers were attached to Central South Command, which covers Southwark and Lambeth.

A couple of the accounts which were public have since been made private following questions put to the police, including one dedicated to a dog who also features in the photos.

Officers have responsibility for upholding the coronavirus lockdown among the public, with the power to levy fines of up to £100.

The news comes after widespread anger surrounding Dominic Cummings over an apparent lockdown breach in which he drove to Durham to seek childcare.

The Prime Minister’s chief adviser denied breaking the rules in an extraordinary press conference, but polling has shown that a majority of the British public think he did in fact break the rules.

It has led to accusations from opposition that the coronavirus lockdown is “one rule of them and another for us.”

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