The Times — Police misinterpreted the Coronavirus legislation and wrongly convicted a teenager

Big Brother Watch Team / April 29, 2020

In our monthly report, we identified a postcode lottery of pandemic policing that’s inconsistent and often heavy-handed.

In one of the most staggering cases, we reveal a teen was wrongly convicted under the Coronavirus Act and under powers for wrong country. The 18-year-old said he was visiting his vulnerable mother to give her money. But on his way he was arrested by Thames Valley Police.

The officers charged him under Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act, which is used for people ill with Covid-19. However, there was no indication that the young kid was potentially infectious.

Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch said:

“We have seen police misinterpret the [Coronavirus legislation] and enforce them unnecessarily harshly. This punitive approach has alienated and alarmed members of the public, eroded trust in authorities, sown confusion and undermined the rule of law.”

If we’re complacent, the conditions of crisis could seed a surveillance state of a scale never seen before.

Our loss of liberty must not endure a moment longer than is absolutely necessary. It’s not acceptable for the Government to treat the exit strategy like a state secret.

The Times — ‘Casual criminalisation’ fears after teenager is wrongly convicted under coronavirus law