DOORSTEP CANVASSING DURING LOCKDOWN
Letter from Northamptonshire Chief Constable
As you will be aware in recent weeks there has been ongoing discussions regarding doorstep canvassing for a political purpose throughout lockdown.
I wanted to take the opportunity to update the position of Northamptonshire Police.
Current national lockdown restrictions in England, say: “You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary”.
Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution, Chloe Smith MP has written to all members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel outlining that the Government’s view is that these restrictions do not support door to door campaigning or leafleting by individual political party activists.
Although this does not form part of the regulations, it is not in the spirit of the legislation and door to door campaigning and leafletting at this point in time is therefore not considered necessary or essential activity.
Police officers will continue to respond proportionality to any alleged breach of the legislation, as we have done throughout the pandemic and we will continue to ask the public to comply with the spirit of the guidance, working with them as we have continued to do over the last few months.
Maintaining the confidence of our public is fundamental to our legitimacy as we have seen in the examples and the press coverage over the past weeks.
My position as Chief Constable is clear, it is essential that we work together to do all that we can to bring the infection rate down, support the NHS and save lives.
NA/tmg/canvassing/05.02.21 5 February 2021
Please find below a link to the MPs’ letter, which Northamptonshire Police fully supports:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-parliamentary-parties- panel-on-lockdown-campaigning/minister-for-the-constitution-and-devolution- letter-to-members-of-the-parliamentary-parties-panel
Nick Adderley Chief Constable