18 April, 2020 by KURT ZINDULKA
A police officer in Lancashire, England was recorded threatening a British citizen with arrest on made-up charges during a coronavirus confrontation that has gone viral on social media.
Lancashire Police said that they are investigating an incident in which an officer told a member of the public that he would “make something up” in order to arrest the man. It is unclear what the reason was for the altercation, in which the member of the public accuses the officer of “harassing” him.
“If you want to fucking step to me and push your chest out and something like that then fine, I’ll lock you up. We’ll do that shall we?,” the officer told the man, Lancashire Live reports.
The unnamed man protested his innocence, claiming that he had done “nothing wrong” — to which the officer replied: “I’ll make something up. Public order. Squaring up to a police officer. Shall I do that?”
“Who are they going to believe me or you? Who are they going to believe me or you?” the officer warned.
In a statement released on social media, the police force said that it is clear from the video that the man “deserves an apology”.
“The matter is being investigated and has been referred to our professional standards department. It is clear from the footage the member of the public deserves an apology which we will attempt to provide him with today,” the force said.
— Stevie (@StevieeeWx) April 18, 2020
Police forces in the United Kingdom have been widely criticised for their overzealous and heavy-handed approach to enforcing the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Last month, for example, Derbyshire Police was widely panned after posting a video of police drone footage of socially-distanced walkers in the Peak District alongside claims their exercise was “not essential”. The same police force dyed the ‘Blue Lagoon’ in Buxton black in order to deter the public from visiting the park.
The Police Federation of England and Wales has demanded that the government grant officers with the power to enter private residences without a warrant if they suspect a forbidden party to be occurring.
The police have been doubly criticised for their stringent enforcement of the coronavirus regulations against walkers and small groups of people from the same household sitting down far from others at the beach or in public parks since Thursday, after a huge number of officers and others, led by Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick, crowded onto Westminster Bridge in London to mass-clap carers with no requirement to wear masks and no regard for social distancing rules.