“However, the messages given from Government are not clear and leave far too many loopholes. There is also an unhealthy mix of law and guidance which leads to confusion and misunderstanding.”
He added: “The police have been provided hastily prepared legislation and have been told to just get on with it. There are times when enforcement is absolutely the right thing to do, as there are some sections of society who are intent on ignoring the regulations.
“That said, we should never have our ability to engage, encourage and explain taken away from us. There will be times where we get it wrong, just as there are times the public make mistakes or misinterpret the regulations.
“The messages coming out around enforcement need to be more carrot rather than stick as my fear is that if policing is not careful, we could be driving a wedge between the police and the communities.”