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SAGE members worried serious disorder could 'overwhelm' attempts to control coronavirus

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Britain will face "grave challenges" in keeping public order, scientists advising the government have warned.


Serious public disorder could "overwhelm all attempts" to control the coronavirus and "catastrophically" undermine the government's recovery plans, scientists advising ministers have warned.


A paper written by a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) sub-committee, and considered by SAGE itself on 2 July, said the current "volatile and highly complex situation" means Britain will face "grave challenges" in keeping public order during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Any disorder could be "comparable or bigger in scale" than the 2011 London riots, the scientists warned, with military support likely to be required.


The document was among a raft of SAGE documents published by the government on Friday, which reveal:


Two days after the lockdown was introduced, on 25 March, scientists estimated 65,000 deaths by September in a worse case scenario. As it stands, there have been 46,119 coronavirus deaths in the UK and more than 300,000 recorded cases


The scientists warned there needed to be "sufficient headroom" in the rate of infections for schools to reopen safely - adding there "may be a need to change measures at the end of the summer in order to be able to keep R below 1" while sending pupils back


SAGE called for greater communication about the main symptoms of the virus - a new persistent dry cough and/or a fever - after finding that a third of Britons do not know what they are


At one meeting, the scientists discussed modelling which showed contact tracing people with the virus and "COVID-secure measures" alone are "unlikely to be sufficiently effective to allow a return to 'pre-COVID' normality without increasing infection rates" if there is no vaccine


In the event that lockdown measures are reimposed, "behavioural responses will not necessarily mirror those observed as measures were imposed"


A paper discussed by the scientists found that singing may be as risky as coughing when it comes to spreading the virus, although it said more research is needed


Scientists warned there needed to be a flu vaccination campaign targeted towards younger clinical risk groups to combat the risk of coronavirus co-infection this winter


The "initial seeding" of the virus in the UK appears to have come largely from Spain, France and Italy, the scientists believe


On the potential for disorder, the scientists warned that tensions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have become "inextricably bound" with structural inequalities and international events, citing the recent Black Lives Matter protests and counter-demonstrations.


The scientists said that among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, which have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic, there is an increasing sense of "racial injustice, inequality and discrimination".


Extreme right-wing groups are mobilising on a scale not seen for a decade, they say, exploiting recent fatal stabbings in Reading, London and Glasgow.


"The situation in the UK is precariously balanced and the smallest error in policing (whether perceived or real, inside or outside the UK) or policy could unleash a dynamic which will make the management of COVID-19 all but impossible," the paper by Professors Clifford Stott and Mark Harrison said.


"Put simply, a serious deterioration of public order could overwhelm all attempts to control contagion, overwhelm hospitals, the criminal justice system and hinder revival of the economy."


The paper, entitled Public Disorder and Public Health: Contemporary Threats and Risks, was considered by SAGE two days before pubs reopened in England.


Its authors warned that the return of drinkers to pubs will "complicate all these problems and introduce entirely new ones".


They noted that large-scale protests, celebrations and unlicensed music events had been increasing at a time when the public health message was changing.


Having told Britons to "stay home" in the early weeks of lockdown, people were being advised to "stay alert" as restrictions were eased.


The scientists flagged the scapegoating of various communities, and anger over local lockdowns, as potential causes of disorder.


And in a prescient warning, they said localised lockdowns could cause problems if they are in place over Eid.


Separate households in parts of northern England are currently banned from meeting up indoors, following a last-minute announcement from the government on Thursday evening.


If there is disorder, officers will need to be deployed from different roles, the scientists warned, which would affect the ability of police to deliver "business as usual".


"If such a situation were to develop a security crisis would ensue, undermining public trust in government and catastrophically undermining its COVID-19 recovery plans," the document said.



All the places affected by government's sudden lockdown announcement


and as if by magic they lock it down .... coincidence of course my a..


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A report entitled 'Public Disorder and Public Health: Contemporary Threats and Risks' has been published


The Government has been warned military support would be needed to deal with "serious disorder" as lockdown eases.


The warning comes from SPI-B Policing and Security sub-Group which has published a report entitled "Public Disorder and Public Health: Contemporary Threats and Risks".


In the report, the government is told that military support would be needed to police serious disorder in the UK because "police are in a far weaker position in terms of capacity to deal with these threats."


It details issues police face following the easing of lockdown in the UK, from pubs reopening to an increase in raves, celebrations and house parties, Mirror reports.


The report says: "If serious disorder does develop, it will have a detrimental impact on public health, facilitating the spread of disease, making the re-imposition of measures to control the spread of Covid-19 next to impossible and would be likely to require military support."


The report continues: "The threats currently facing the UK are diverse, inter-connected and dynamic.


"Public health will be particularly adversely affected by spontaneous public assemblies, particularly if these develop into violent confrontation.


"Local lockdown carries with it a series of threats to social cohesion and public order.


"Some media narratives are reinforcing claims that Asian and Black people in areas of local lockdown are potentially responsible for disproportionately spreading the virus.


"The police are in a far weaker position in terms of capacity to deal with these threats than in 2011 and police weaknesses, when recognised, were a factor in the spread of urban disorder during those riots.


"Policing has a vital role to play in preventing disorder but coordinated action is needed across Whitehall and with local authorities. This is not simply a policing issue."


The lengthy report continued to say that the "challenges posed to public order are multiple and overlapping," following the easing of the lockdown in the country.


"As lockdown eases, the numbers of spontaneous large-scale public assemblies such as protests, celebrations and unlicensed music events (e.g. raves, block and house parties) are increasing," the report continues.


"The removal of restrictions on pubs from July 4 will complicate all these two problems and introduce entirely new ones.


"At the same time, the legitimacy of the Police - and of the laws and regulations they are charged with enforcing - is being challenged from many sides.


:Put simply, a serious deterioration of public order could overwhelm all attempts to control contagion, overwhelm hospitals, the criminal justice system and hinder revival of the economy."



that,s the plan ....

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