Herts police: ‘Appalled and horrified’ by George Floyd’s death but say coronavirus restrictions remain

PUBLISHED: 12:06 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:21 03 June 2020

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest outside the US Embassy in London. The protest follows the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US, this week which has seen a police officer charged with third-degree murder. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest outside the US Embassy in London. The protest follows the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US, this week which has seen a police officer charged with third-degree murder. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

After the death of a black man at the hands of police inspired protests in the US, Herts police have said they are appalled by George Floyd’s tragic loss of life and the violence on the streets.

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WirePeople take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

But chief constable Charlie Hall – while delivering a message to all police forces across the UK – also pointed out that during the coronavirus pandemic there are restrictions in place on gatherings larger than six people and people have to ensure they are two metres apart.

Constable Hall said: “We know people want to make their voices heard. The right to lawful protest is key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate.

“But coronavirus remains a deadly disease and there are still restrictions in place to prevent its spread, which include not gathering outside in groups of more than six people. So for whatever reason people want to come together, we ask that people continue to work with officers at this challenging time.”

He added: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture:: Dominic Lipinski/PA WirePeople take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture:: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

“We are also appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then.

“Our hearts go out to all those affected by these terrible events and hope that peace and order will soon be restored.

“In the UK we have a long established tradition of policing by consent, working in communities to prevent crime and solve problems. Officers are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary. We strive to continuously learn and improve. We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it.

“Policing is complex and challenging and sometimes we fall short. When we do, we are not afraid to shine a light on injustices or to be held to account.

“The relationship between the police and the public in the UK is strong but there is always more to do. Every day, up and down the country, officers and staff are working to strengthen those relationships and address concerns. Only by working closely with our communities do we build trust and help keep people safe.”

Party to the call was Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Mike Cunningham, chief executive of the College of Policing and Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association.


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