UK government refuses to abolish law that leads to unlawful prosecutions
The UK government refused to abolish a coronavirus law even though it was used unlawfully in every one of the more than 50 cases that were prosecuted under it. Among those wrongly prosecuted were a woman who was fined £660 for a crime she hadn’t committed. Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act gives the police the power to direct “potentially infectious persons” to a place suitable for screening and assessment, and allows police to take them by force if they refuse, an infraction that attracts a fine of up to £1,000. While human rights activists have called for the health secretary to review the powers, the Department of Health has said they are essential to controlling and containing the virus in the long run.
Writer: Lizzie Dearden