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Police asked to apologise for shutting car washes

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The PSNI has been asked to apologise to the owners of two car wash businesses after they were "unlawfully" ordered to close during the most recent lockdown

The PSNI has been asked to apologise to the owners of two car wash businesses after they were "unlawfully" ordered to close during the most recent lockdown

The PSNI has been asked to apologise to the owners of two car wash businesses after they were "unlawfully" ordered to close during the most recent lockdown

The PSNI has been asked to apologise to the owners of two car wash businesses after they were "unlawfully" ordered to close during the most recent lockdown.

The car washes, which are based in North Down, were ordered to cease operations on November 27 and 28.

One of the businesses was also hit with a £1,000 fine and prohibition notice, while the other was "forced to close via the coercion of the PSNI", which had resulted in "significant financial loss" to the firm.

The car washes, which have been asked not to be identified, are being represented by loyalist activist Jamie Bryson, who has written to the PSNI to raise the matter.

The PSNI said the matter was under review.

Mr Bryson told the Belfast Telegraph yesterday that the PSNI should apologise for the "unlawful closure" of the businesses.

"Both of these car washes specialised in MOT washes, with appropriate ramps and equipment for that specialist task," he explained.

He insisted this means that under the stipulation of the regulations the businesses were "therefore explicitly permitted to stay open".

"Furthermore, one of the car washes operates within a petrol station, which was also permitted to remain open," added Mr Bryson.

"Nowhere in the regulations were the PSNI given discretion as to then decide which parts of the petrol station could or could not stay open.

"That would have taken us into the unworkable 'essential' and 'non essential' goods territory which the Executive sought to avoid.

He added that the PSNI then "decided they would no longer close car washes, apparently due to confusion around the legislation".

"Two issues arise. Firstly this creates an appalling situation whereby the law has been applied one way against some citizens, and different way against others," argued Mr Bryson.

He also stressed that if the PSNI had displayed "confusion" on how the regulations should be applied, then "it would be preposterous to expect an ordinary citizen to be able to foresee the consequences of the law".

"The PSNI should outline what steps they are going to take by way of a remedy to those affected by their latest error," added Mr Bryson.

In response, a spokesperson for the PSNI confirm that "correspondence has been received in relation to two car wash businesses and this is under review".

Belfast Telegraph


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