Police chief brands fake police letter on Covid-19 ‘disgraceful’
Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli said a public health crisis is no time to joke
14 April, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby
FAKE: The letter circulating online declaring ‘Code Red lockdown’
CAMDEN and Islington’s borough commander has branded a fake police letter being shared on social media “disgraceful”.
The bogus note headed with the Metropolitan Police logo claims a ‘Code Red lockdown’ has been initiated by the government giving police officers the power to jail anyone for four weeks if seen outside their homes without evidence proving it is an emergency.
The hoax also wrongly claims that at 9pm on April 15 London will be sprayed with chemicals to disinfect the city and limit the spread of the virus – a task the letter claimed would take 30 minutes.
Under the current lockdown rules, people are allowed to go outside to shop for essential items, to travel to work only if absolutely necessary, for one hour exercise a day and for any medical need, to give care or to help a vulnerable person.
Chief Superintendant Raj Kohli hit out at the authors of the sham letter, calling it “disgraceful behaviour”, adding: “Whoever is joking about like this needs to take a long hard look at themselves.”
Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli
“This virus is seriously affecting people’s physical and mental health and whoever wrote it does not understand how serious the situation is nor how upset people already are about it. It’s not remotely funny,” he said.
Aspects of the letter, including an email address which twice includes a swear word, might ring alarm bells for some who come across it but Chief Supt Kohli said many would be fooled by it.
In a tweet, he urged members of the public to ignore any such correspondence they see circulating from unverified accounts.
The number of deaths related to Covid-19 in the UK now stands at 11,329.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he recovers from the virus, is expected to confirm in Tuesday’s press daily briefing that the UK will remain on lockdown until at least the first week of May, and possibly later.