A police commissioner in the United Kingdom said his officers will enter homes and break up family gatherings to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Diwali if those gatherings break coronavirus restrictions.
David Jamieson, the police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, told The Telegraph, “If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene. If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce.”
Jamieson added, “It’s not the police’s job to stop people enjoying their Christmas. However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules then the Government has to explain that to the public.”
The Daily Mail reported the U.K. is using a three-tiered system for coronavirus restrictions and that the West Midlands are currently under Tier 2 restrictions, which prohibit people from mixing between households.
The Daily Mail reported Jamieson raised concern about heavy-handed policing, shutting down holiday gatherings.
“We’re sitting on a time bomb here. We’re getting very near the stage where you could see a considerable explosion of frustration and energy. Things are very on the edge in a lot of communities and it wouldn’t take very much to spark off unrest, riots, damage,” Jamieson said.
Jamieson also raised concerns about Manchester, London and Merseyside are concerned about potential violence.
Jane Kennedy, the police and crime commissioner for Merseyside, an area under the most restrictive Tier 3 restrictions, also said she would also investigate holiday gatherings. Kennedy reportedly said she did not believe there would be disorder.
Earlier in October, Metro reported U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson the Government will do “everything we can” to ensure the holiday is as “normal as possible” including potentially suspending a rule that limits gatherings to six people.
Asked during an interview on ITV if a family of five “can’t have both grandparents around for Christmas,” Johnson said, “We’re not saying that at all.”
Asked if his response meant the limit of six people per gathering would be suspended, Johnson said, “Listen to me, we’re doing everything we can, everything we can to make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible.”
It remains unclear if coronavirus restrictions will be suspended prior to the holidays.
Metro reported all of England could be under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions by December.
The U.K. has had recorded more than 920,000 coronavirus cases and more than 45,000 deaths as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus case tracking map.