Extra funding for coronavirus enforcement

The Force is being given a further £200,000 to help support coronavirus enforcement.

The Government funding, which is part of £60 million to be split equally between police forces and local authorities, is aimed at allowing forces to provide a more visible policing presence as part of the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Dyfed Powys Police’s share of the £30 million is £212,489.

“We are all aware of the need to try to stop this pandemic in its tracks,” says Roger Webb, secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation, “But, while this funding is welcome I am a little concerned that it will simply be used to fund over-time putting our hard-working officers under even more strain.

“We don’t have a bank of ‘spare’ officers we can just use for this work. While we are recruiting, it is going to take some time before we see the benefits of the new officers being taken on and, in the meantime, our members are being pulled from pillar to post, trying to meet the various demands placed on them.

“Police officers are doing their very best to adapt to the changing restrictions and encourage people to comply with them but ultimately we need the public to play their part too.” 

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has also welcomed the extra funding saying any genuine new money which helps ease the current pressure on policing can only be a positive thing.

But he added: “My question is, what is expected in return? Policing is over-stretched and colleagues are already doing all they can during this pandemic. Any suggestion that this extra money would take away the discretion which permits police officers to do their jobs to the best of their ability would be counterproductive and damaging. Alongside this announcement must be an effective public information campaign. This must make it crystal clear what is expected of the public.

“Police officers are already targeting those who wilfully breach Covid-19 regulations and this will continue. The new money will assist policing, but what we really need are more officers and a better communication strategy from the Government.”

The Government announcement said the aim was for police to be more visible to ensure members of the public comply with the restrictions in place to try to halt the spread of coronavirus while councils would get funding and guidance to support compliance and enforcement.

It would, ministers explained, enable police to increase patrols in town centres and ensure that people are complying with the new restrictions, particularly in high-risk areas. The police would also, they said, provide more support to local authorities and NHS Test and Trace to enforce self-isolation requirements.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The vast majority of the British public has come together, followed the law and helped prevent the spread of this virus.

“But we’ve been clear that, with infections rising, we will not allow a small minority of people to reverse our hard-won progress.

“This extra funding will strengthen the police’s role in enforcing the law and make sure that those who jeopardise public health face the consequences.”

Forces will be required to provide the Home Office with enforcement plans to demonstrate how the money is being used to tackle non-compliance with public health rules.