Police in the UK have the power to stop and question a UK citizen or visitor at any time. According to the information here, they can:
These powers are limited in that a member of the public is not required to stop, nor answer any questions, and such a refusal cannot be used against the individual concerned.
My question is: does this conflict with the new Health Protection legislation that has recently been introduced? I link to the version for Wales, here.
This new legislation makes it illegal for a UK citizen residing in Wales to leave their home, except with reasonable excuse. A small list of reasonable excuses is provided with the legislation.
Now, consider a scenario where a Police officer exercises a stop and account for the purposes of determining whether there has been a breach of this new legislation.
A member of the public could, according to the law on stop and account, continue on his or her journey and choose not to engage with the Police officer*. Since this cannot be used as evidence or suspicion of a crime, then the officer theoretically has no power to go any further.
However, I wonder if the officer could reasonably argue that given the new legislation which makes it illegal for one to leave their home except by reasonable excuse, this forms the basis of reasonable suspicion that a person who is seen on the street has breached the Health Protection legislation.
*. an exception to this is if the member of public was driving, in which case the Police have powers under the Road Traffic act to stop them and obtain identification for the purposes of ascertaining whether they are fit to be driving a motor vehicle on the road. But still the right to not answer further questions would apply.
Is there a conflict here?