Coronavirus – Russell’s Hall Hospital (75A/20 )

Request

  1. The police were outside Russell’s Hall Hospital Dudley on 16.4,2020 where the General Public were clapping for the NHS at 8pm can you please clarify why your Police Officers were allowing the Crowd to breach the Government corona virus policy on social distancing?
  2. The Police officers were also clapping for the NHS on the 16.4.2020 outside Russell’s Hall hospital Dudley and they were noted to break the law as well pertaining to social distancing they were definitely not 2 metres apart but head to head can you please clarify why the Force allowed its officers to break the law? Normally if a member of the public breaches the Government’s Corona virus policy they are often arrested and charged and can be heavily fined.
  3. Can you clarify if any of the police officers have been reprimanded or disciplined for breaking the law on 16.4.2020 by failing to be 2 metres away from each other when clapping for the NHS as well as not policing the crowd correctly with regards to social distancing outside Russell’s  Hall Hospital?

Response

Please find enclosed our response.

Question 1 and Question 2. Please be advised that this is not a valid Freedom of information Act request as it does not fulfil Section 8 of the Act. It is not a request for specific recorded information. It appears to be making a statement regarding an incident and you appear to be asking for opinion from the force. To assist you as you may not be aware .The Freedom of Information Act applies to recorded information and we are unable to provide opinion unless this is recorded.

Therefore in relation to Question 1 and 2 we have no recorded information held. However in order to assist where possible I have provided the news statement the Force released in relation to this matter. Please find this below.

News releaseFirstly, no police officers travelled to the hospital to take part in the Clap for Carers. A couple were patrolling near the hospital – which is a key location for police presence during this national health crisis – and took a moment to pause to show their appreciation.

 Many of the people outside the hospital were NHS staff who are on the front-line tackling Covid-19 and trying to save lives. Dudley NHS Trust has stressed this happens at shift handover time, when people are coming to work or leaving the site. It occurs at hospitals and trusts up and down the country.

 People have suggested those few officers present should have intervened during the Clap for Carers, moved people on and potentially issued fines. These are unprecedented times. People are dying and people are anxious. We take social distancing very seriously and are working hard across our communities to engage with people to explain and encourage adherence with the restrictions.

 However, we do not believe it would have been appropriate at that time, during a moment of appreciation for our NHS heroes, for officers to have moved people on or issued fines.

 We are liaising with Russell’s Hall about future Clap for Carers days and understand the importance for people to respect social distancing. It is also important to stress that people should not be travelling to an NHS facility simply to applaud. The best way to stay safe is to stay at home.”

 In relation to Question 3. Please be advised that any information that relates to an individual, or from which an individual could be identified, constitutes personal data and to release information that constitutes personal data into the public domain contravenes the Data Protection Act. The information that you have requested, should it exist, pertains to personal data of a third party/parties and therefore it is exempt from disclosure, the exemption that applies to this type of information is Section 40 (5) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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