Three-quarters back curfews to prevent evening socialising

Charles Hymas
·2-min read
A deserted night-time street in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire - Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Europe
A deserted night-time street in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire - Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Europe
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

More than three-quarters of the public back curfews to stop people socialising in the evening, a YouGov poll has revealed.

Almost half the 1,566 adults surveyed – 48 per cent – said they felt "very comfortable" with curfews in the fight against Covid. A further 29 per cent said they felt "fairly comfortable", meaning a total of 77 per cent of those polled supported the measure.

The backing for tougher enforcement of the lockdown extended to supermarkets, with 71 per cent backing the idea of having police at stores to ensure people wore masks, the poll, commissioned by crime and justice consultancy Crest Advisory, showed.

A similar proportions of more than seven in 10 supported police arresting people who failed to comply with their instructions and asking people to provide a valid reason for being out of their home when challenged.

However, nearly two thirds of people believe the police's role in enforcing Covid lockdown rules has been undermined by Boris Johnson's decision to exercise on his bicycle seven miles from Downing Street.

Asked about the Prime Minister's journey last weekend, 63 per cent said it made it harder for police to enforce the measures, regardless of whether he had broken the lockdown rules.

The survey suggested overall support for the way in which the police are handling the pandemic has fallen since the first lockdown. Twenty-seven per cent said they fully supported the police approach, while 33 per cent said they supported the police but thought that, in some cases, officers were going too far.

In April, a Crest-commissioned poll found 42 per cent fully supported the police and 31backed them but thought they were going too far in some cases.

The proportion of respondents who thought the police were too heavy-handed as a rule remained largely unchanged at seven per cent, while the proportion of people who think the police have no role to play in the pandemic has risen from two to five per cent.

Harvey Redgrave, the chief executive of Crest Advisory, said: "Our polling shows there continues to be broad-based support for how the police are approaching enforcement of the current lockdown.

"However, as we predicted last spring, that support has grown more qualified since the first lockdown, reflecting the challenge of enforcing rapidly-changing laws over a prolonged period."

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