Police force faces fury for mocking 'essential saunter in jeans'

So now you’re the fashion police too? Force faces fury for mocking locked-down Britons for taking an ‘essential saunter in jeans’ as their daily exercise

  • South Yorkshire Police issued an alert detailing a ‘saunter in jeans as exercise’
  • The now deleted post, said the police were ‘doing their best’ to keep people safe
  • The police force has apologised for ‘any confusion’ caused by the alert
  • **Have you faced police over a supposed lockdown violation? Email [email protected] or [email protected]**
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A police force was blasted for a issuing a Covid-19 alert seemingly criticising a pedestrian for exercising in jeans.

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) issued an alert on April 30 written by sergeant Michael Miles in Doncaster. 

It appeared to mock someone for having an ‘essential saunter’ in the casual legwear – and many social media users responded to the alert in disbelief, wondering if the post was a hoax.

The now deleted post titled ‘Coronly Excersising (sic)’ said: ‘Tonight has seen us checking people’s reasons for being on the streets.

‘Between essential saunter in jeans as exercise, an essential trip to the shops for egg custards and essential trip to the cash machine for £20 to use in the morning, we’ve offered a lot of advice.’

The post concluded by saying the police were ‘doing their best’ to keep people safe.

In early April, shortly after lockdown kicked in, a survey suggested a third of Britons thought the police had gone too far in their lockdown crackdown across the UK (pictured: Pedestrians at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on April 24)

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) issued an alert on April 30 that seemed to mock someone for having an ‘essential saunter in jeans as exercise’

In early April, shortly after lockdown kicked in, a survey suggested a third of Britons thought the police had gone too far in their lockdown crackdown across the UK.

A YouGov poll commissioned by crime and justice consultancy Crest Advisory asked 1,646 adults for their thoughts on how they view the police handling of the new laws and Government guidance to keep people indoors and protect against the spread of Covid-19.

While 74 per cent of the public said they supported the force’s approach to implementing restrictions like social distancing measures, a third said their handling has been too strict. 

The Network for Police Monitoring, which describes itself as a coalition resisting excessive policing, posted a tweet in response to the SYP message, saying: ‘The wrong kind of jeans for exercise. Honestly, it’s becoming embarrassing now.’ 

One Twitter user posted: ‘I don’t have any exercise clothes at all. Yesterday I went for my walk in what I was wearing that day as I do everyday. I’m not very fit so I also walk slowly. Didn’t realise either of these things were illegal.’

Social media users criticised the police force. The Network for Police Monitoring, which describes itself as a coalition resisting excessive policing, posted: ‘The wrong kind of jeans for exercise. Honestly, it’s becoming embarrassing now’

Cara Townsend added: ‘Right now South Yorkshire Police have pretty flagrant lockdown violations actually occurring, and would be wise to get them in order before stopping me doing my daily walk in denim.’

In response to the harsh criticism the police force apologised for ‘any confusion’ caused by the alert.

Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley said: ‘A message has been issued on SYP Alerts which is not in keeping with our approach.

‘We have been very clear in our expectations that officers should engage and encourage residents on the new restrictions.

‘Further training will be provided to the officer to ensure they are clear on our position.

‘We apologise for any confusion caused by this alert.’

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