Swindon and Wiltshire MPs have praised the way police are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the second stakeholder briefing held by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson, MPs and council leaders supported the way officers were encouraging the public to comply with the government guidelines.

The PCC, who was joined by Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, reassured the group that he would continue to regularly review the capacity and resilience of the force to ensure policing would be as unaffected as possible.

Mr Macpherson said: “Law enforcement in this country is founded on the principal of policing by consent, so I was pleased our MPs and council leaders fed back that our approach to this public health pandemic is landing well with our communities.

“Their view was that other police forces, who have taken a heavy handed position in these unprecedented circumstances, have not been received well locally.

“Our relationships with our communities and our partner agencies has always been exemplary but, since the Novichok incidents in 2018, they have strengthened even more so.

“I would suspect that we are the only police force in the country to have gone through something as equally unprecedented as coronavirus in the last few years.

“I took the opportunity during this briefing to, once again, report high levels of compliance from people within our communities in Wiltshire and Swindon.

“In Wiltshire, we continue to focus on engaging with the people we are here to serve and will only enforce the new powers afforded to the police if absolutely necessary.”

The PCC is briefed on a daily basis to ensure he is aware of how the force is responding to this crisis.

The virtual stakeholder briefings will take place each week for the duration of the pandemic. Plus, all PCCs have a weekly, virtual meeting with the policing minister to ensure a consistent approach in overseeing policing during the crisis.