MANAGING THE THE 'RULE OF SIX':
Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner Admits 'We Can't Police This'
On Thursday 1 April 2021, Matt Jarram, Nottingham Post Digital Reporter and Crime Correspondent, wrote that, after the first week of lockdown restrictions easing, and problems with crowds flocking to Lenton Recreation Ground, The Arboretum and the Forest Recreation Ground, Nottinghamshire's Police & Crime Commissioner has raised doubts about whether the Police have the capacity to enforce the 'rule of six'.
'We can't police this' - Concerns over managing rule of six in Nottingham
Nottinghamshire's Crime Commissioner has spoken out about the resource issues affecting the force
Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has admitted 'we can't police this' after hundreds of people flocked to the Arboretum and Forest Rec for parties.
Nottingham has been in the national spotlight during the first week of lockdown restrictions easing meaning people can meet outside in groups of six or two households.
Paddy Tipping is calling for a national meeting with other crime commissioners and chief constables across the country to come up with a plan of attack.
Nottingham City Council was forced to close two of its popular parks - The Arboretum and Lenton Recreation Ground - after the 'reckless' behaviour of a minority this week.
Major clean up operations had to be carried out after party-goers left huge amounts of litter discarded across both sites.
On Monday, March 29, police were called to The Arboretum after hundreds of students staged a mass party with alcohol, cannabis, and loud music.
Revellers were seen climbing trees, avoiding social distancing by dancing in large groups, as well as fighting with each other.
There were busy scenes at the Forest Recreation Ground on Tuesday and on Wednesday, March 31, things escalated again after police had to arrest three people for public order offences after a mass party broke out at the Forest Rec just after 9pm.
Despite arrests being made, around 200 people refused to disperse and police were forced to watch from the sidelines until the party ended and they left at around 11pm.
Mr Tipping told Nottinghamshire Live: "If you disperse that group they will only find smaller areas to drink and socialise and in health terms it increases the risk.
"Many police officers are now saying 'we can't police this'.
"What constitutes two households if there is 10 students in two households? The police don't know - that is the problem.
"They are trying to engage with people but in terms of enforcement last night to move 200 people you would need a lot of resources.
"They can call that resource out but is it the best use of the resource?"
In terms of police numbers across Nottinghamshire, the chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police wants to boost his police force to 2,400 officers by the end this year - the highest number in more than 10 years.
In 2009/10, the force had 2,400 police officers and was determined to reach 2,500. But this dream was never met as police were blasted by £60m of government cuts which saw the number of officers fall
Mr Tipping is hoping a meeting will take place in the coming days with police forces across the country to bring forward a combined plan to deal with each stage of easing.
"This is not a specific problem for Nottingham. It is happening in Leeds, Brighton and Bristol and I think we all need to be doing the same thing.
"We are in the second phase of the easing of lockdown and it is a long way to June 21. What is it going to be like when pubs and bars reopen?
"That is why I have been involved in a national meeting this morning."