‘People are fed up’ - police boss on why lockdown exit will be toughest test yet

Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens (pictured) believes enforcement of restrictions as the UK exits lockdown will be tougher than when restrictions were first imposed. Credit: PA

Policing the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown will be tougher than when restrictions were first brought in, according to a West Country police boss.

Sue Mountstevens, who is Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, believes enforcement of the rules will be more difficult because “people are fed up”.

She made the comments during an interview with ITV News West Country, looking back on her time in office since 2012.

Sue Mountstevens was first elected in 2012. Credit: PA

The publicly-elected police chief announced her intention to step down last year, with her successor to be appointed during the May local elections.

She said: “Our local communities have been brilliant, and so has our constabulary, in actually getting close now to the end of the tunnel.

“But I think the transition coming out is actually going to be more painful than going in because people are now fed up with following the rules.”

Police and Covid marshals on an enforcement day in Bristol in November 2020. Credit: PA

Since restrictions were first imposed in March 2020, Ms Mountstevens said they have changed around 60 times.

During that time, Avon and Somerset Police has recorded more than 50,000 Covid breaches - including illegal house parties, warehouse raves and people driving outside of their local areas.

The Government announced its roadmap out of lockdown in February.

Boris Johnson announced the UK's roadmap out of lockdown in February. Credit: PA

This week, the rule of six returned - meaning a maximum of any six people can gather in outdoor settings for walks or picnics. 

A new household rule has also come into place, whereby a maximum of two households can gather, with no limit on the numbers.

For other key dates in the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown, click here.

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