West Mercia Police have issued a statement after a video appeared on social media showing officers arresting a man at Sainbury’s in Hereford over the weekend.

West Mercia Police Superintendent for Hereford, Ross Jones said: “I am satisfied that the officers acted in accordance with their powers. However, is important to note that there are a number of exemptions around wearing facemasks and carrying an exemption card, badge or lanyard is not required by law. The officers have been reminded about this element of the regulations.

“The government put the Covid-19 regulations in place to help prevent the spread of the virus and our first priority is to protect the public and help reduce the rates of transmission in Herefordshire. Where a potential breach has been committed, officers will ask for a person’s details as part of our conversation with them. If they refuse and we reasonably believe they have committed an offence then an arrest can be made. It is very rare for this to be necessary and the majority of people with are understanding of why they have been approached when not wearing a mask and the matter is quickly resolved.

“In this instance the man did give his details once at the station and was reported for a breach of Covid legislation.”