Dominic Cummings potentially breached coronavirus lockdown regulations, Durham Police say
The Prime Minister’s special adviser, along with his wife and son, drove to Durham to self-isolate in a property owned by his father on Friday, March 27.
Durham Constabulary said on Thursday, May 28, it did not consider that doing so breached the regulations set out by the Government in March, imposing lockdown.
Mr Cummings and his family then drove 26 miles to Barnard Castle from Durham in April. He has said the trip was to test his fitness to drive back to London, particularly his eyesight.
Regarding the trip to Barnard Castle, Durham Constabulary ‘concluded that there might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention’ but added ‘there was no apparent breach of social distancing’.
Had Mr Cummings been stopped by officers, he would most likely have been told to go back to the Durham house, and no further action taken if he had done so.
The statement said: “Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.
"Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis.
"Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken.
"In line with Durham Constabulary's general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public.
“Durham Constabulary has not taken retrospective action against any other person.”
The force added that its officers found no evidence to support reports Mr Cummings was in Durham on April 19.
Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Steve White praised his officers, adding: “I am grateful to the Chief Constable for the work that the constabulary has conducted in extremely difficult circumstances and the comprehensive and proportionate consideration of the facts,” he said.
“I felt it important that the people of Durham and Darlington could see that the Force is, and remains fair in its approach to policing the issues arising out of the Covid-19 crisis and that it will continue to police without fear or favour.”
“I am sure communities across the force area will continue to do their very best in preventing the spread of this disease and will continue to support the Force as it works hard to decipher and provide education to the public as it polices the changing advice, regulations and legislation.”