Dorset

Coronavirus: Dorset police hit by 13% absence rate

James Vaughn
Image caption James Vaughan said the levels of absence among officers and civilian employees was "stabilising"

More than one in ten of Dorset police's workforce is off work due to self-isolating Covid-19 issues, the chief constable has said.

James Vaughan said the levels of absence among officers and civilian employees was "stabilising" with more now returning to work than going sick.

He said levels of crime had fallen since the restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus were brought in.

He also repeated calls not to travel to Dorset's beauty spots over the weekend.

Mr Vaughan told the BBC about 13% of the workforce of more than 2,600 had been off work either sick or self-isolating.

He said: "We have sufficient resources to meet demand that is coming in. Demand is down so a smaller workforce is able to manage."

He said only two spot fines had been issued in the county for people breaking the restrictions on movement.

"Only in extremis are we having to use the powers government have given us," he said. "By and large the public are very compliant."

He said the force was "very concerned" about people potentially visiting and travelling round the county at the weekend.

"We want to give a message that we don't want people to travel to our beaches and beauty spots and exploit the restrictions," he said.

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