A British police department is apologizing Friday after it posted a tweet claiming it was patrolling the “non-essential aisles” of a supermarket during the coronavirus outbreak.
The message, which has since been taken down from the Cambridge Police account, sparked a debate over what a "non-essential aisle" would even be.
“Officials visited Tesco Barhill this morning as part of their patrols around supermarkets and green spaces this weekend,” the tweet read, according to Sky News. “Good to see everyone was abiding by social distancing measures and the non-essential aisles were empty.”
The same force that closed off roads for Extinction Rebellion and allowed them to dig up the ancient Trinity College lawn are now creating “non-essential” aisles. That is not set out in law, as clarified by the Home Secretary yesterday. You’re not paid to snoop at folk’s baskets.
Twitter users then questioned the police department’s confusing language.
“If I'm in the supermarket for essentials, why can't I pick up, I don't know, some nice moisturizer or some chocolate? Not essential but they will help me through stay at home life,” one is reported to have said.Cambridge Police@CambridgeCopsReplying to @CambridgeCops
1/2 For clarification, the force position, in line with national guidance, is that we are not monitoring what people are buying from supermarkets. This message was sent with good intentions by an over exuberant officer who has been spoken to since this tweet was published.922Twitter Ads info and privacy1,233 people are talking about this
Cambridge Police later tweeted that although it has issued some fines to residents flouting the United Kingdom’s coronavirus prevention measures, “we are not monitoring what people are buying from supermarkets.
“This message was sent with good intentions by an over-exuberant officer who has been spoken to since this tweet was published,” it added.
But Cambridge is not the only British police department to admit error when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus.SbWeb@grandad1975
South Yorkshire Police are now backpedaling as well, after a bizarre video surfaced purportedly showing one of its officers repeatedly telling a homeowner that "you cannot come on your front garden.”
“I’m asking you to go indoors – are you going indoors or are you refusing?” the officer is heard telling a man, who was protesting the order.
The department tweeted Thursday that “this encounter was well-intentioned but ill-informed and we'd like to apologize for the way it was handled.”