A London policeman has said people are using the Dominic Cummings scandal as an excuse to break the coronavirus lockdown rules.
The officer, ’Scott’, told LBC that he does not know what to say to those who are flouting the government’s restrictions when they mention the behaviour of the prime minister’s chief adviser. He said ‘a good half a dozen people’ had told him today that ‘well, government can do what they want’, when asked to follow the guidance to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The policeman explained that he had handed out tickets to people ‘sitting on benches’ in parks – but now cannot see ‘how I can go to bed tonight, knowing that I’ve made people pay fines for breaching lockdown when it seems if you’re powerful and wealthy enough you can just do whatever you want.’ Yesterday it was suggested that more than 14,000 Brits could appeal coronavirus fines.
Scott said that while on duty he has been told by those not social distancing that ‘lockdown’s over now’.
It follows five days of intense media pressure around the apparent flouting of ‘stay at home’ restrictions by Mr Cummings.
In a highly unusual press conference in the Number 10 Rose Garden yesterday, Mr Cummings refused to resign or apologise, after driving 260 miles to Durham while his wife had coronavirus symptoms. He also took a family trip to Barnard Castle to ‘test his eyesight’ on her birthday. Mr Cummings insists he behaved reasonably.
The incident has prompted public fury, and claims from experts that his behaviour could have a devastating impact on public adherence to the rules. This morning a Government minister resigned as calls for Mr Cummings to go or be sacked continued to grow.
Claiming that ‘three separate groups of people’ had suggested to him this morning that the Cummings saga meant they could do what they like, he said the view of some breaking rules was that the ‘Government can do what they want.’
Police officer says people are using Dominic Cummings as a lockdown excuse
He added: ‘As a police officer, I don’t know what to respond back to them.’
Scott said he felt many people are ‘bored’ and that humans are ‘social creatures’ who need to ‘get out and do things.’
This morning the Government continued to defend Mr Cummings, with Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove branding him a man of ‘honour and integrity’.