Police have questioned a dad who was ‘taking a break’ from his kids by sitting smoking a cigarette in his car.
Man smoking in his car is questioned by police for breaching COVID regulations: Zia Khan was in his car after taking a “five-minute breather from his kids”. Police can clearly be seen questioning him. The incident happened on Hagley Road, Birmingham. In the video clip Khan can be heard angrily admonishing the officer, saying he was “taking the p*ss” and to “go and do your job, go away”. In the clip Khan says “It’s up to me. It’s none of your business. Is there anybody here with me?
You have no right to ask me. Am I doing anything criminal?” The officer replies “Sitting in your car is not a lawful reason to come out in lockdown.” To which Khan replies “Yes it is. I’m locked up in two rooms in emergency accommodation. I just came out for five minutes’ breather from my kids. Do you want me to smoke a cigarette inside?” The officer asks him to calm down but Khan goes on to say “It’s a p*ss-take. Have you guys got nothing better to do?”
Khan, speaking later on Birmingham Live, said “I am in small emergency accommodation with my wife and two young children due to my circumstances caused by the pandemic. I don’t want to smoke near them so I decided to nip out for a quick smoke. I went to my car for five minutes to relax and have a cigarette. I couldn’t believe it when the police car approached me and told me it wasn’t lawful to sit in my car and to go back inside.
I really think they need to use common sense in situations like this. I was sitting in my car on my own.” In a statement released by West Midlands Police, assistant chief constable Mark Payne said “I support the actions of our PCSO. We are policing a pandemic which has cost thousands of lives, with hundreds of people still dying on a daily basis.
Our officers have been tasked with enforcing rules designed to keep people safe, which means we will be asking people why they are outside during a national lockdown.
The vast majority of people provide sensible answers and we all get on with our day. Officers are working long hours in difficult circumstances, trying to find the right balance between engaging and educating people, and enforcing the laws. There have been occasions where we’ve got the balance wrong over this period and we have been quick to say sorry when we have.
This is not one of those occasions. Our PCSO clearly explained why he was asking the man questions, as we are asking staff to do as part of our engaging and explaining strategy. The vast majority of the public are doing their part and sticking to the rules, and we remain very grateful for their support.” Current restrictions say that you should not leave the house unless absolutely necessary.
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