Police will receive £60m cash injection to hire MORE Covid 'cops'

Police will receive £60m cash injection so they can hire MORE Covid ‘cops’ to enforce coronavirus restrictions including 10pm pub curfew

  • The huge sum will fund extra patrols by police and civilian ‘marshals’
  • It will also pay for more follow-up visits to those who are required to self-isolate
  • Ministers said extra enforcement was necessary to tackle the spike in infections 

Police and councils are to receive £60million to step up enforcement of Covid restrictions including the controversial 10pm pub curfew.

The huge sum – shared equally between forces and town halls – will fund extra patrols by police and civilian ‘marshals’, the Home Office said.

It will also pay for more follow-up visits to those who are required to self-isolate after being flagged by NHS Test and Trace or coming home from abroad.

Ministers said extra enforcement was necessary to tackle the spike in infections. 

Police and councils are to receive £60million to step up enforcement of Covid restrictions including the controversial 10pm pub curfew. Pictured: The move follows scenes of chaos in Nottingham as students spilled on to the streets after a night of drinking

But the cash allocation comes after thousands of doctors and scientists issued a strongly-worded statement outlining their ‘grave concerns’ about the impact of lockdown.

Tory backbenchers are also poised to vote against the curfew and other measures amid concern they are inflicting too much economic and social damage. 

Police chiefs made clear they would use the new resources to take action against members of the public who flout the rules.

Local councils will use the cash to ramp up enforcement checks on businesses, including issuing fines and shutting down establishments which break the rules.

It followed scenes of chaos at kicking out time in Nottingham, as students spilled on to the streets after a night of drinking.

Scuffles broke out as police tried to disperse large groups congregating outside pubs and bars after the 10pm curfew.

The huge sum – shared equally between forces and town halls – will fund extra patrols by police and civilian ‘marshals’, the Home Office said. Pictured: Large crowds gather in Nottingham after the 10pm curfew 

Nottingham, home to two universities, is on the brink of a local lockdown after cases soared. 

The city’s Covid rate has jumped to 440.1 per 100,000 people, the fifth highest in England.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, said of the new enforcement measures: ‘Our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the rules remains.

‘But we must be clear that we will take enforcement action against the minority who refuse to comply.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘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. 

It will also pay for more follow-up visits to those who are required to self-isolate after being flagged by NHS Test and Trace or coming home from abroad. Pictured: Scuffles broke out as police tried to disperse large groups congregating outside pubs and bars after the 10pm curfew

The £60million is expected to fund enforcement work in England and Wales for the next three months. Pictured: Nottingham students earlier this week

Some of the cash will be spent on dedicated staff to encourage compliance, including civilian marshals to do some of the work currently performed by police and environmental health officers. Pictured: Nottingham students take a selfie during their night out 

‘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.’

The £60million is expected to fund enforcement work in England and Wales for the next three months. 

Some of the cash will be spent on dedicated staff to encourage compliance, including civilian marshals to do some of the work currently performed by police and environmental health officers. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘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’

Marshals’ duties could include reminding people to wear a mask, queue management, directing pedestrians and supporting social distancing. 

They will not be able to issue on-the-spot fines, physically restrain members of the public or restrict entry to any premises.

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Police in London will receive just under £7million from the fund, while Greater Manchester Police will get £1.7million. 

West Yorkshire is allocated £1.8million and the West Midlands £1.3million. 

Other forces, depending on size, will receive between £200,000 and £900,000.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: ‘This partnership approach is designed to target those who continually flout the rules. 

‘It isn’t fair, and all of those who have tried hard to stop the spread of the virus rightly expect us to do something. 

‘Where necessary and proportionate, we can enforce the legislation, either by fixed penalty notice or arrest.

‘By working together with local authorities, those who continue to break the rules, be they individuals or businesses, can expect to have their illegal gatherings dispersed and face the consequences of business closures or fines.’

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