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Would you land your neighbour in the snoop for breaking the ‘rule of six’?

SNOOPS are craning over the garden fence after households were told to grass up neighbours flouting new Covid-19 rules.

From today it became illegal to socialise in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors, except in special cases such as weddings.

When Kit Malthouse, minister for Crime and Policing, was asked if anyone should report rule-breakers, he replied: “Absolutely, yes, through the non-emergency number.”

The Government’s Rule of Six follows a spike in infections.

But is it OK to encourage busy- bodies to spy?

Here, TV host Ulrika Jonsson says NO but writer Nilufer Atik says YES, and admits she has snitched on neighbours.

TV host Ulrika Jonsson

WITHOUT a shadow of a doubt, these testing times have brought out the best in a lot of people.

There has been a wave of pro-social behaviour.

We’ve delivered shopping for the elderly and tried our best to keep up the spirits of those who are shielding.

Four in ten of us feel closer to our own communities during the Covid lockdown.

But with the introduction of the Rule of Six — dictating that if we get together in groups of more than six people we will be breaking the law — just as we thought we were properly emerging from the crisis, tensions are heightening and the frustration is palpable.

The sense of panic, fear and anxiety that first swept the nation back in March has now embedded itself throughout our neighbourhoods like some sort of compulsive 1984 dystopian theme.

People seem to think they have the right to tell everyone else what the rules and guidelines are, in a way no one would ever have dreamed of doing before.

Now people will start to snitch on their neighbours or friends if they are breaking the Rule of Six — and I can’t pretend it is filling me with glee.

People seem to think they have the right to tell everyone else what the rules and guidelines are.

What in God’s name does the Government think is going to happen to community relations, after effectively asking people to dob each other in if they are seen to be breaking this new rule?

Curtain-twitchers will be standing with phones at the ready to report the Joneses next door if too many people cross their threshold.

I could not ever do that.

I might, quietly, be seething that my neighbour is having a party next door. But would I report him? No. It’s not the done thing.

We as adults — and even young adults and idiot children — have to accept there will always be rule-breakers and that as long as the vast majority of us do the right thing, all will be well.

Why the need to create animosity, when we might not be able to repair the damage to over-the-fence relations?

Relationships could be permanently broken.

I cannot get my head around people who grass.

In Sweden, we call these ratters besser wissers — basically, they think they know better.

Who dares to make themself the boss of someone else? Especially in challenging times such as these.

I’m not suggesting ANYONE should break the rules — despite the fact I don’t share the Government’s approach.

But punishing someone by getting them into trouble with the law, and a potential fine, seems small-minded, churlish and arrogant.

I will not be snitching on anyone and would discourage anyone else from doing so.

Writer Nilufer Atik

UNDER normal circumstances, I would be the last person ever to complain about my neighbours.

After all, a bit of loud music or the odd slammed door never did anyone any harm.

But these are not normal circumstances and Covid-19 can do harm.

That is why, when I saw one of my neighbours throwing a party yesterday afternoon, I did complain. In fact, I grassed them up to the caretaker and went out and warned them I would call the police, as they were breaking the law.

They had a marquee on the communal lawn we all share and around 20 friends and relatives were in and around it, happily tucking into snacks and drinks without a care in the world.

Any one of them could have been carrying coronavirus without knowing it, which makes them a risk to me and my family — especially my three-year-old Milo who likes to play in that exact same shaded area on a sunny day.

It is not that I want to be a jobsworth or spoil other people’s fun but this virus is still spreading.

While I agree that the constantly changing advice the Government keeps giving the public about what they can and cannot do is confusing, we should still follow it.

The advice changes as experts learn more about the illness, and if the only chance of preventing another wave is to follow whatever precautions we are given, I am happy to do this and others should be too.

I told my neighbours they were being irresponsible, not considering the safety of other residents and could receive a huge fine.

I got a few dirty looks as they began packing up and waved goodbye to their visitors — and one of their friends mumbled “silly cow” under her breath as she passed by me — but I don’t care.

If I keep other vulnerable people and my family safe, it is worth it.

Rules are there for a reason and if we all break them whenever we feel like, we will never get this deadly virus under control.

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