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UK News

Christian advice for snitching on your neighbours breaking the new rule of 6

by Tola Mbakwe

Home secretary Priti Patel has said she would call the police if she saw a group larger than six gathering. 

Her comment came after the policing minister encouraged law abiding citizens to dial the non-emergency 101 number if they see people breaking the new "rule of six".

Carl Brettle from the Neighbourhood Prayer Network told Premier there is a better way to address such an issue.

"I don't think Priti Patel would have said that if she lived on my street. We live on quite a rough street and obviously in any area that has difficulty, if you start to go around and be the police, rather than the pastor, then you're going to run into some trouble."

Brettle stressed the importance of neighbours getting to know one another and starting WhatsApp groups to build relationships. He said once there's been friendly interaction, addressing potentially awkward situations, like breaking coronavirus rules, will be easier. 

"What you do with the WhatsApp group is communicate," he said. "The government is reacting to lots of different medical advice and trying to really roll things forward. The biggest problem we've got right now is people understanding and hearing. 

"But don't forget if you want planning permission for your conservatory and you've just reported a family for having a group of eight, you may get a complaint later on."

Anyone caught breaching the law could be fined up to £3,200. However, Downing Street has stated that people should not expect to be fined for their first breach.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "What you would expect to happen is for the police to be out today encouraging people to follow the new rules but in the coming days, if we see people continuing to flout the new rules, it is right that people could face a fine.

"The regulations are in place to help to stop the spread of the virus, to protect the NHS and to ultimately save lives."

Brettle told Premier what he would do if his neighbour hosted 25 people for a barbecue. 

"Well, in my case, I would recommend that we be in communication before that," he said. "So being friendly and neighbourly, one would hope that you'd have an invite to that barbecue for starters. 

"And if you do get an invite, or if you do know in advance, just a gentle reminder to say 'Hey, I know you don't want get into trouble now'. 

"So put the ownership on someone else and say 'Somebody else will report you, Have you considered that there is a restriction of six people?'"

He added that there's a Christian mandate to address the issue with love. 

The "rule of six" came into force across the UK on Monday, banning a gathering of more than six indoors or outdoors. The new restriction was put in place after more than 3,000 coronavirus cases were recorded for the third day in a row on Sunday. 

Listen to Premier's interview with Carl Brettle here:

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