Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson said: “This funding acknowledges that up until now police forces have been expected to take on this extra role while coping with the current high levels of demand on the service.
“The additional funding to the local authorities will hopefully mean they will be able to fulfil their licensing functions more effectively meaning officers will not have to spend as much time policing the 10pm curfew and will allow them to focus on an enhanced policing response to associated criminality such as anti-social behaviour and large gatherings which are a flagrant breach of the rules.
“The Chief Constable and I have discussed the use of these additional funds and we welcome the possibility that this funding pool might allow our local authorities to invest in COVID marshals.
“This will relieve our officers of some of the current demand with the marshals focusing on hotspot patrols in high density areas such as our town centres and parks with support from officers were needed.
“The Chief Constable has already committed PCSO’s from our community teams to work specifically on engagement and education in relation to the Covid regulations.
“Although any funding is always welcome, the public should be aware that this money will not magically allow us to recruit more police officers.
“What it may do is allow us to pay overtime to more police officers and staff, but we would obviously need to be careful not to stretch an already overworked and under pressure workforce.”