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Monday 25th May 2020

Coronavirus: Police slammed for launching online form for 'snitching' on people who break lockdown rules

Some called it 'appalling'

A police force has come under fire for setting up an online form that allows people to report those who break the coronavirus lockdown rules.

The government's strict social distancing measures, introduced over three weeks ago, have placed heavy restrictions on people leaving their homes.

Police faced a backlash for an online form allowing people to 'snitch' on those who break the lockdown rules (Credit: SplashNews.com)

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At present, Brits are only allowed to go out for essential reasons, which includes shopping for food and getting a maximum of one hour's exercise per day.

Amid reports of people all over the country flouting the lockdown measures, cops in Cambridge have informed residents of a new way for them to snitch on others.

On Tuesday (April 7), Cambridgeshire Police tweeted: "We have now developed an online form allowing you to report individuals breaching COVID-19 restrictions via our website.

"Please do not call 101 to report breaches."

This is appalling.

The tweet provided a link to a web page where people can provide details on those ignoring the rules.

But it faced an immediate backlash. Some claimed it would harm neighbour relations, while others branded the decision "appalling".

What did people say?

One said simply: "No chance!"

Another quipped: "Cambridgeshire Gestapo."

A third wrote: "This is appalling."

Someone else said: "Encouraging informing is a seriously retrogressive thing to do. Is this the society people really want?"

A fifth tweeted: "Great way to undermine neighbourhoods. Unwarranted."

Cambridgeshire Police is understood to have created the online form as it was receiving a high volume of calls about people breaking the lockdown rules.

The force responded to the backlash

Following the criticism, the force tweeted, for clarification: "Like other forces, we're urging people to use common sense.

"Please only our online form if there is a significant issue or breach. This may be a large gathering or group of people repeatedly ignoring the restrictions."

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It follows a flood of complaints from Gogglebox viewers who thought the stars of the Channel 4 show were not following the lockdown rules.

Ofcom reportedly received 20 complaints about the programme recently, as viewers were confused about who was living with whom.

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