Dad having cigarette in car to take break from kids questioned by police over alleged COVID rules breach

·3-min read

Watch: Officer confronts dad who had taken 'five minute break from kids'

This is the moment a police officer questioned a dad who was sitting in his car smoking a cigarette having taken a "five-minute breather from his kids".

An officer from West Midlands Police can be seen talking to Zia Khan on Hagley Road in Birmingham on Thursday night.

The 31-year-old posted the clip on TikTok where it received thousands of likes and comments.

In the clip, Khan can be heard angrily accusing the officer of "taking the p**s" and telling him: "Go do your job please, go away."

The dad was confronted by officers near his home in Birmingham. (Reach)
The dad was confronted by officers near his home in Birmingham. (Reach)

Khan says in the footage: "It's up to me. It's none of your business. Is there anybody here with me? You have no right to ask me. Am I doing anything criminal?"

But the officer can be heard saying: "Sitting in your car is not a lawful reason to come out in lockdown."

Khan replied: "Yes it is". He went on: "I'm locked up in two rooms in emergency accommodation. I just came out for five minutes' breather from my kids. Do you want me to smoke a cigarette inside?"

Read more: Coronavirus lockdown 3: What you can and can’t do under new rules for England

The officer tells him: "Calm down", but the dad continues to talk emotionally, saying: "It's a p**s-take. Have you guys got nothing better to do?"

West Midlands Police backed the officer, saying he "clearly explained" why he was asking questions.

Khan later told BirminghamLive: " I am in small emergency accommodation with my wife and two young children due to my circumstances caused by the pandemic.

"I don't want to smoke near them so I decided to nip out for a quick smoke. I went to my car for five minutes to relax and have a cigarette.

"I couldn't believe it when the police car approached me and told me it wasn't lawful to sit in my car and to go back inside. I really think they need to use common sense in situations like this. I was sitting in my car on my own."

West Midlands Police assistant chief constable Mark Payne said in a statement: “I support the actions of our PCSO. We are policing a pandemic which has cost thousands of lives, with hundreds of people still dying on a daily basis.

“Our officers have been tasked with enforcing rules designed to keep people safe, which means we will be asking people why they are outside during a national lockdown. The vast majority of people provide sensible answers and we all get on with our day.

“Officers are working long hours in difficult circumstances, trying to find the right balance between engaging and educating people, and enforcing the laws.

“There have been occasions where we’ve got the balance wrong over this period and we have been quick to say sorry when we have. This is not one of those occasions.

“Our PCSO clearly explained why he was asking the man questions, as we are asking staff to do as part of our engaging and explaining strategy.

“The vast majority of the public are doing their part and sticking to the rules, and we remain very grateful for their support.”

Current lockdown rules state that people should only leave the house where absolutely essential.

The government website lists acceptable reasons including, going to work, providing care and shopping for essential items.

Watch: What is long covid?