Police criticised for standing too close at Whipps Cross clap for carers

Waltham Forest police have attracted criticism for seemingly failing to comply with social distancing measures while clapping for care and health staff.

A video posted to Twitter of police and ambulance staff participating in the “clap for carers” outside Whipps Cross Hospital at 8pm last night immediately angered some people online.

Many felt that officers, who were pictured in the video less than two metres apart, were not complying with the social distancing rules they enforced on others.

One resident, Luke, tweeted: “I have the greatest of respect for key workers. I love the #ClapForCarers.

“Please understand though that many are spending over 23 hours a day in small flats with small children.

“They then log online to see this crowded gathering & dozens of videos like it. It’s not a good look.”

Another said: “Again, not two metres apart. The virus doesn’t stop spreading, it doesn’t go on strike for five minutes at 8pm every Thursday.”

However, Mark Elle argued: “Same distance between them as when they are dealing with any day to day incidents. I’m sure the distance wouldn’t be an issue if they were coming to your aid.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “By the nature of the work our officers undertake it is sometimes not possible for them to socially distance.

“However, we do, and will, continue to remind our officers of the importance of social distancing where practical.”

  • If your street takes part in the clap for key workers on Thursday evenings, why not send a video to us at: [email protected] and we’ll share it with our followers across Essex and East London.
Last night’s clap for carers. Do critics have a point, or is it just petulance?

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter