Coronavirus: Police and councils step up patrols in Blackstock Road after social distancing complaints

Officers in Blackstock Road to enforce social distancing. Picture: Islington Council

Officers in Blackstock Road to enforce social distancing. Picture: Islington Council - Credit: Archant

Police and council officers have been out in Blackstock Road to enforce social distancing after complaints groups of people were ignoring the guidelines.

Islington and Hackney council staff joined officers in the street – which serves as the border between the two boroughs - on Sunday. They were there “reminding people to keep two metres apart while shopping” and patrols have now been increased in the area.

It comes after complaints from neighbours and businesses that social distancing guidance was not being followed. Islington’s top cop Ch Supt Raj Kohli told the Gazette last month that it was one of the hotspots in the borough for people flouting the rules.

Following Sunday’s operation, Islington’s families chief Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: “In response to concerns raised by residents and local businesses, we are increasing our patrols around Blackstock Road and the surrounding area along with the Met Police and our partners in Hackney Council to provide additional support in the vicinity.

“This has included working with key community partners, like Islington’s Faith Forums, to provide advice on social distancing to members of the public and working with businesses to provide support and advice about how to manage their spaces more effectively.”

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Ch Supt Kohli said there were “as many people as usual” in Blackstock Road on March 24 despite Boris Johnson telling people to stay indoors.

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