Enforcing lockdown rules would be ‘impossible’ in rural areas, Janet Street-Porter says in interview

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:56 31 March 2020

Janet Street-Porter at Waterloo Station, London. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

Janet Street-Porter at Waterloo Station, London. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter has said it would be “impossible” for police to enforce coronavirus lockdown rules in some of the most rural parts of Norfolk.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain on ITV on Tuesday morning, the Loose Women panellist said a “sensible” approach to self-isolation was key.

Last year, she said she had moved to a Norfolk village near Thurlton, which is close to the Suffolk border.

In a debate around coronavirus on the show, she said: “It’s not acceptable to group everyone into one group... At the moment life for people in rural areas like me in Norfolk is completely different from people in London and out there the idea of police driving around monitoring people when they are going for a walk, is it a beauty spot or is it near their homes, you couldn’t possibly enforce it.”

She said she thought it was a “complete waste” of police time, and said it was key to take a “sensible” approach.

At the weekend, police headed out to places including Cromer to ensure people were only leaving their homes when necessary and maintaining appropriate social distancing.

PC Joey Mezzetti, Cromer beat manager, said people were getting the message and were “taking note and doing the right thing”.

It came after an impassioned plea from Norfolk police’s chief constable Simon Bailey on Saturday morning, urging people to stay inside - or risk more lives being lost.

He said: “These are probably the most draconian measures this country has ever seen, but they are being done for all the right reasons.

“We all have a responsibility to respect that scientific advice and the prime minister’s very difficult decision and to self isolate, and to only go out for the examples which have been very clearly set out.

“If we do not do that we are putting people’s lives at risk. We will simply extend the duration of this crisis and the NHS will become overwhelmed.”

The rules, set out by prime minister Boris Johnson last Monday, say that people may only leave their house to travel to work if absolutely necessary, buy basic essentials, care for someone or exercise once a day.

For the latest where you live, join our Facebook group Norfolk Coronavirus Updates.

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