Coronavirus: Priti Patel slams police chief who threatened trolley searches

The Home Secretary broke her weeks-long silence to say the idea shoppers during the coronavirus lockdown could face searches was ‘not appropriate’

The Home Secretary broke her weeks-long silence to say the idea shoppers during the coronavirus lockdown could face searches was ‘not appropriate’

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Priti Patel has slapped down a police chief who threatened shoppers with trolley searches during the coronavirus lockdown.

In her first public comments since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the Home Secretary said the comments were “not appropriate”.

It comes after Northamptonshire police chief Nick Adderley said his force were only “a few days away” from introducing measures such as road blocks and searching shopping trolleys, as people continue to flout coronavirus regulations.

He said a “three-week grace period” is over in the county and the force will now be issuing fines and arresting people breaking the rules.

He said further measures will also be implemented should people continue to flout the regulations, including “marshalling” supermarkets and checking the items in baskets and trolleys.

Mr Adderley said: “We will not, at this stage, be setting up road blocks. We will not, at this stage, start to marshal supermarkets and checking the items in baskets and trolleys to see whether it’s a legitimate, necessary item.

“But again, be under no illusion, if people do not heed the warnings and the pleas I’m making today, we will start to do that.”

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