DIFFERENT tiers within Hampshire are “presenting new challenges” and making policing COVID-19 breaches even harder, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
From 00.01 on Saturday 19 December, different parts of Hampshire will be in all three COVID tiers. The Isle of Wight remains in Tier 1, but Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant will move into Tier 3. The rest of the county will stay in Tier 2.
Newspapers have reported high levels of drunken disorder on the Isle of Wight, with people arriving on ferries from the mainland to take advantage of the more relaxed rules around drinking in pubs.
Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said the force was now sending experienced officers over to the Isle of Wight at weekends, “as island pubs were reporting that they were at capacity”. She added there had been incidents of officers being assaulted.
She said: “The island is really difficult to police as there are many reasons why the public are allowed to travel there. We just don’t have the resources to stop everyone getting on and off a ferry and to check out their story to see whether or not they’re being honest about where they’re going and what they’re doing.
“So that’s presenting new challenges for us in terms of policing and we’ve had to send extra resources over to the island to support the officers over there.
“It’s another challenge that officers have had to face and yet another situation for officers to get their head around.”
Zoë said both police officers and the public were confused about the rules, which state that people who live in a Tier 2 area must follow those rules even if they are visiting a Tier 1 area. While people living in Tier 3 are discouraged from leaving their area.