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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said,

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said,

“In the midst of what remains a global pandemic that has claimed over 40,000 lives in this country, the police are being called on to help prevent the further spread of this deadly disease.  Cases in the West Midlands are rising.  Police are working with colleagues in local government, Public Health England and the NHS.  These are not easy times and the restrictions are difficult, complex and have changed over time.  The police are responding to calls from the public, balancing COVID duties with addressing all the other demands they face.  Everyone needs to work together, as the disease impacts upon us all.  We’re all affected.

“I have said all along that compliance with the restrictions must be based on maintaining public consent, as well as being proportionate, fair and transparent.  I publish reports every month on enforcement, providing oversight and giving confidence the Force is working in the way that we want.   I call on everyone to work with the police, local government, health service and other partners in good faith and a spirit of community so that we might control the virus and more quickly return to a more open and free way of life. Sensationalism and exaggeration do nothing to save lives. 

West Midlands Police has issued a further statement on Sunday’s events, as follows:

“Yesterday there was media coverage concerning West Midlands Police officers attending the New Testament Church. 

“We face a difficult task policing COVID restrictions. These are unwelcome duties as we face the pandemic. Our style has been to support the public in facing these difficult challenges. Fines have been the exception not the rule. The overwhelming majority of the public are complying and support the police. It is a time we all need to pull together. 

“It is a matter of great regret that the police attendance at the New Testament Church has been misrepresented. 

“Officers attended in response to a call from the public, they were in uniform and arrived after the service. They were present for a very short period of time and did not enter the church. They closed the call indicating the church was fully complying with regulations. This is exactly how they are expected to carry out their duties. 

“Quite why a different and narrative to this story has been promoted is incomprehensible. 

“Most people try their best in life and we should always start with that assumption. I think that applies to our officers at this difficult time. We don’t always get things right but in this case we did. 

“This is a time where we all should be working together for our communities.”

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