The secretary of Staffordshire Police Federation has called for clarity over new lockdown measures as it’s revealed only 10 per cent of officers felt previous regulations were clear.

Glyn Pattinson says the Government must stop issuing mixed messages about Covid-19 rules to avoid further confusion when lockdown measures are lifted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today (Monday) expected to announce a “roadmap” for easing Covid-19 measures in England.

And Glyn said he was “not surprised” by figures from the Federation’s demand, capacity and welfare survey which show only one in 10 officers thought police powers previously introduced to manage the coronavirus crisis were clear.

The survey also found only 24 per cent of respondents felt the ‘Four E’s’ (engage, explain, encourage and enforce) approach was effective when enforcing the new police powers.

Glyn said: “There have been so many changes to the regulations, and in many cases they’ve been vague as well, that it’s difficult to feel on top of things.

“Officers are often having to enforce new legislation within hours of it being announced and without any guidance, so I am not surprised that only 10 per cent of my colleagues were clear on previous regulations.

“We need to maintain public confidence if we’re to continue to police the pandemic effectively. To do that we need clarity over any new measures, for the good of the public and the police, and we need it well in advance of them being introduced.”

His comments were echoed by PFEW’s national chair John Apter.

John said: “Given the fact there have been more than 60 rule changes introduced during the pandemic, it comes as no surprise whatsoever that only 10 per cent of police officers who responded to our survey said they found the Covid-19 rule changes to be clear.

“We have been saying from the beginning, clear guidance on what people can and can’t do is needed; otherwise people will inadvertently fall foul of the law or may take advantage of the mixed messages. And it’s my colleagues who are on the frontline of these changes, continually playing catch-up to get their heads around the latest information.”

The new report also contains a number of personal testimonies from frontline officers, including those who have contracted Covid-19 while on duty, and those who’ve faced the virus being weaponised against them.

Almost a third of respondents (32 per cent) reported that a member of the public, believed to be carrying Covid-19, had purposely threatened to breathe or cough on them at least once over the past six months; with nearly a quarter reporting actual attempts at doing so.

A total of 26 per cent of respondents believed they had  already had Covid-19, and 45 per cent of these felt they had contracted the virus through work-related activities.

“I suggest the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Governments of England and Wales read this report very carefully,” John added, “Then they can attempt to explain to my colleagues on the frontline why, after the most vulnerable have been vaccinated, they should not be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccination.”