A police force in the UK received an overwhelmingly negative backlash after revealing they had used a surveillance drone to spy on dog walkers and hikers in a remote part of the country.

“Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the #PeakDistrict despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through,” tweeted Derbyshire Police. “@DerPolDroneUnit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and this footage was captured at #CurbarEdge last night.”

The video then goes on to shame people for hiking, walking their dog and watching the sunset in a remote location, the Peak District, despite none of the individuals shown having violated the new rules.

Indeed, by performing such activities in such a barren, remote location, the people shown in the drone footage appear to be practicing perfect social distancing.

The government has encouraged people to engage in one form of exercise a day, specifically “to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household.”

Derbyshire Police’s tweet received a massively negative response.

“People exercising is permitted. People maintaining 2m separation is permitted. People not being in groups larger than two is permitted,” pointed out one respondent.

“This seems perfectly within the guidelines. What exactly is the issue here? No wonder people are getting confused,” added another.

“This is the worst kind of nanny policing and I say that as a former colleague,” said another. “Taking a walk by yourself in the middle of nowhere seems the epitome of social distancing. Yet the building site next to me, in the middle of London, building flats is essential?”

“This is petty. These people are not in contact with anyone. If it was a park, fair enough, but a huge place like this I’m sure people will respect each other’s space. Some people only have tiny rooms to ‘self-isolate’ in. Surely a walk is better than suicide?” asked another.

It now seems inevitable that police forces across the country are going to start setting up vehicle checkpoints, something North Yorkshire Police have already said they will do from today onwards.


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