AVON and Somerset Police are establishing a dedicated COVID-19 team to attend reports of breaches of the emergency regulations.
It is being created from the extra funding provided by the Government, dedicated to the force’s COVID-19 response.
The intention of the team is to provide reassurance to those communities who adhere to the regulations, but also to help step in when individuals flout the rules and place their communities at greater risk of the virus.
The team was launched on Monday and will be reacting quickly to incidents called in by the public and patrol areas highlighted by partner agencies and our own intelligence that present a threat to public health.
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson said: “We are fortunate the number of COVID-19 cases in the South-West are not as high as some other parts of the UK, but they are rising and we cannot afford to be complacent.
“The national lockdown in March and April meant demand for non-COVID police matters dropped and it freed up resourcing for us to have more officers out on the streets, working with our communities to help defeat the virus.
“However, the situation is different six months on, as demand for police attendance has increased to pre-lockdown levels. Officers have responded magnificently, but combining traditional policing priorities with additional COVID-19 work is a challenge for forces across the country.
“By creating this dedicated team, it will enable those officers to concentrate on dealing with reports coming in and proactively police areas where problems have previously occurred.”