Devon and Cornwall's Chief Constable refutes accusations of heavy-handed Covid-19 policing

More than 250 people have been fined by police for breaking coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Devon and Cornwall, many of them motorists who were stopped as they tried to drive into the South West from other parts of the country.

Police have now issued 269 enforcement notices, prompting some accusations of heavy-handed policing but, in an interview with ITV News, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer of Devon and Cornwall Police said he believes their response has been proportionate.

He said police have now had more than 10,000 "Covid-19 related interactions" with members of the public and 27 people have felt so strongly about the way they were treated that they have made a formal complaint.

There have also been more reports of police officers being assaulted while on duty.

At least three officers have been kicked or spat at in the past 24 hours.

The chief constable said assaults on emergency service workers are clearly unacceptable and anyone who behaves in that way must expect to be charged and put before the court.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the West Country, including case numbers, event cancellations and venue closures, click here.

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