Ears clipped: UK police officers face punishment for Covid haircut breach

Group of 31 Met officers face £200 fines for breaking restrictions while on duty

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Police maintain a presence at Clapham Common during the anti-lockdown demonstration on January 9, 2021 in London, England. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has filmed an advert for HM Government warning that people should stay home as the COVID-19 virus is spreading across the country. Despite these warnings the protest group StandUpX are demonstrating against coronavirus lockdown measures and vaccines. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
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Thirty-one London police officers face being fined £200 ($275) each after they broke strict Covid-19 lockdown rules to have their hair cut while on duty, their force said on Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police said it launched an investigation after an allegation that officers had their hair cut by a professional barber at the Bethnal Green station in East London.

Under lockdown rules brought in on January 5, hairdressers and barbers are among businesses that have been closed down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The inquiry concluded that the 31 officers who had their hair cut last week should be fined £200 and the two who organised it will be investigated for misconduct.

"It is deeply disappointing and frustrating that my officers have fallen short of the expectation to uphold Covid-19 regulations," Det Chief Supt Marcus Barnett said.

"Although officers donated money to charity as part of the haircut, this does not excuse them from what was a very poor decision."

Despite lockdowns being brought in across the UK, there has been concern that many people are not abiding by the rules, meaning the virus keeps spreading.

Last week, British Interior Minister Priti Patel said those who broke lockdown restrictions faced punishment by police, and announced a £800 fine for those who attended house parties.