Public telling police 'if it's OK for Cummings it's OK for us' says PCC
People breaching lockdown rules in the West Midlands have told police they are not following them because Dominic Cummings didn't.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the actions of the Prime Minister's top advisor, who has denied breaching the guidelines, had "undermined" the police's authority over the bank holiday weekend.
The Labour commissioner said West Midlands officers were "getting quite a push back" from some members of the public who were frustrated that the rules should apply to them and not senior members of the Government.
More Covid-19 coverage:
- Latest number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases in your area
- Star Neighbours - how you can give and get help locally
Boris Johnson has refused to sack Mr Cummings for driving more than 250 miles to Durham during lockdown, and sought to defend his actions as that of a father acting "instinctively" to arrange childcare.
The PM has, however, faced a fierce backlash from sections of the public, his own party and the normally supportive right wing press.
Police chiefs in the West Midlands say the public have been largely supportive of lockdown measures and generally abided by them.
Mr Jamieson, however, said the scandal surrounding Mr Cummings could be hugely damaging to hopes of preserving the lockdown.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One, Mr Jamieson said: "If the rules are flexible, and people seem to have interpreted them who are at the heart of Government, then it is almost impossible then for police officers to be able to carry out their job effectively.
"What the police are now saying to me is they are getting quite a push back, not just from some of the younger people who previously where saying 'Why can't I play football, why can't I go out in the streets?'. They're getting push backs from other generations of people as well.
"Now that is a bad sign, showing that confidence in the rules, confidence in Government and thereby the police's ability to enforce it has been undermined very much in the last few days."