180 Covid breaches reported to West Midlands Police every day

Police are receiving 180 reports of Covid rule breaches every day in the West Midlands, the police and crime commissioner has said.

Speaking at the weekly regional Covid-19 media briefing, PCC David Jamieson said the challenges to police came from both homes and businesses.

He said: “They are mainly in domestic settings though some are still licensed or commercial settings.

“The changing rules are a challenge for the public but also a challenge for the police as well in enforcing them.”

The Labour commissioner also said the domestic abuse was continuing to rise "quite substantially".

“We have had a 37 per cent increase in reports of cases of domestic abuse which is drawing on police resources in quite a substantial way," he said.

“We have even heard one of the charities we help fund [either Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid or Black Country Women’s Aid] are talking about a fivefold increase in people who are contacting them suffering from domestic abuse.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson (centre)

He said he did not know the reason for the rise, but added: “Clearly people who are in enforced close proximity to each other, possibly suffering money worries as well, has led to this increase I am sad to say.

“We bid into a fund for £4.4 million. We got about 900,000 of that. That unfortunately was only enough to provide the technology for the charitable organisations and others who do the work with people who are suffering from domestic abuse to actually keep doing their present workload. It did not increase any capacity.

“We are relaunching our No Excuse For Abuse campaign which we launched just before the summer with great success.

“It was there to remind people – particularly women suffering abuse – that they can still report, the police will still take action.

“We are going to refresh that campaign over the winter and Christmas period to tell people – if you are suffering domestic abuse, report it to the police and we will take action.”

Going on to speak about pay changes announced in the spending review, Mr Jamieson said: “I think we should recognise the work our police officers have done at the present moment.

“I am pleased to see there is a 2.5 per cent rise for our NHS workers. I think that is well-deserved and a recognition of the contribution they have made in these Covid times.

“I just wish there had been recognition for the police as well because they have had a 0 per cent increase which of course is in effect a pay cut.

“I have to say people more cynical than myself are pointing out that if a Spanish entrepreneur middle man in a PPE contract can get £21 million, why can’t our police officers have a rise in their pay and not a pay cut?”

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