THE are difficult times, and they produce extraordinary challenges for the authorities – not least the police.

The must respond to ever-changes laws and guidance introduced by the Government as it tackles the coronavirus crisis.

It is an unenviable task. There are grey areas in which the rules are at risk of being misinterpreted.

And there is no doubt that State enforcement of constraints on our precious liberties are met with resentment in some quarters at times.

But while our sympathy and support is with the police, we are disquieted by the lack of transparency surrounding their enforcement of some coronavirus laws.


For instance, a takeaway in Hereford has been fined £1,000 for breaking the rules – but the police will not say which one.

Their silence is based on guidance from the College of Policing – their own professional body.

It says “identities of people dealt with by cautions, speeding fines and other fixed penalties – out-of-court disposals – should not be released or confirmed.”

But surely these are not normal times, and this is a pubic health issue that people are entitled to know about.

Businesses that are punished for breaking the rules should be named.

Such secrecy risks undermining faith in a system that effectively imposes punishments without the public oversight that is part of the normal justice system.