Durham Police Commissioner Asks Force To Investigate Dominic Cummings' Lockdown Trips

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire’s independent police and crime commissioner said Cummings had made a "mockery" of lockdown restrictions.

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The police and crime commissioner for Durham has written to the force’s chief constable to ask for further investigation into claims surrounding Dominic Cummings’ trips to the county.

It emerged on Friday that the PM’s most senior advisor had travelled 260 miles from London to Durham to visit family after testing positive for Covid-19 – apparently because he feared that he and his wife would be left unable to care for their son – despite the fact official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys.

Boris Johnson backed Cummings on Sunday, saying he had acted “responsibly, legally and with integrity” when travelling to ensure childcare – a defence which has been met with fierce criticism by many, including a number of his own MPs.

Cummings reportedly went on to make a second trip to the area in April, allegations which have been robustly denied by Number 10.

But Durham Police’s crime and victims’ commissioner Steve White on Monday revealed that he had written to the force’s chief constable in order to “establish the facts” surrounding “additional information” about Cummings’ potential breach of lockdown rules.

White wrote: “I am confident that thus far, Durham police has responded proportionately and appropriately to the issues raised concerning Mr Cummings and his visit to the County at the end of March.

“It is clear however that there is a plethora of additional information circulating in the public domain which deserves appropriate examination.

“I have today written to the Chief Constable, asking her to establish the facts concerning any potential breach of the law or regulations in this matter at any juncture.

“It is vital that the force can show it has the interests of the people of County Durham and Darlington at its heart, so that the model of policing by consent, independent of government but answerable to the law, is maintained.

“It will be for the Chief Constable to determine the operational response to this request and I am confident that with the resources at its disposal, the force can show proportionality and fairness in what has become a major issue of public interest and trust.”

Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street on Sunday.
Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street on Sunday.

Durham Police and Downing Street came into conflict over the weekend, when a statement released on behalf of the PM called into question the force’s confirmation that officers had spoken to Cummings’ father.

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire’s independent police and crime commissioner Martin Surl told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday that Cummings had made a “mockery” of lockdown restrictions.

He said: “I think it makes it much harder for the police going forward – this will be quoted back at them time and time again when they try to enforce the new rules.

“But I think more importantly it makes something of a mockery of the police action going back when the message was very, very clear: stay at home.

“The police had to deliver a very harsh, very difficult message and now it appears people could act differently, so I think it does undermine the policing going back and their confidence, and going forward it will be more difficult, but they will cope, they always do.”


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