COVID-19: On-duty Metropolitan Police officers fined for breaking coronavirus rules at station - by having haircuts

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More than 30 police officers are to be fined £200 each because they broke coronavirus rules while on duty - by having their hair cut.

Scotland Yard said it had been informed that 31 officers had their hair trimmed by a professional barber at Bethnal Green police station in east London on Sunday 17 January.

A local investigation was launched, and it was decided that each officer should "face a £200 fixed penalty notice", the Metropolitan Police said.

Two officers who organised the trims have been told they are under investigation for misconduct.

Despite the officers donating money to charity during the event, they have been warned that it does "not excuse them from what was a very poor decision".

The officers' actions are "deeply disappointing and frustrating" because the public expect them to be "roles models", the Met said, adding that police are not "immune" from COVID-19 restrictions.

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, local policing commander, said: "It is deeply disappointing and frustrating that my officers have fallen short of the expectation to uphold COVID-19 regulations.

"Although officers donated money to charity as part of the haircut, this does not excuse them from what was a very poor decision. I expect a lot more of them.

"It is right, therefore, officers should each face a £200 fine, as well as misconduct action for those two who organised this event."

Mr Barnett added: "Quite rightly, the public expect police to be role models in following the regulations which are designed to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

"I hope this action proves that police are not immune to enforcement of the rules, and we are prepared as an organisation to take action if we see officers have behaved irresponsibly."