DORSET Police will receive nearly half a million pounds to support increased enforcement of coronavirus rules.

It is part of £4.1 million allocated to police forces in the south west region, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced.

Since the start of the pandemic, officers have played a crucial role in helping to stop the spread of the virus by enforcing the Covid regulations to protect the public, while continuing with investigations and keeping our streets safe.

Forces across England and Wales are being given £60million in total, including £58million to help pay for costs incurred by police due to the pandemic, including overtime and making police stations Covid-secure.

This includes £1.4million for Devon and Cornwall, £1.3million for Avon and Somerset, £481,000 for Dorset, £478,000 for Wiltshire and £443,000 for Gloucestershire.

It brings the total amount of funding available to forces since the start of the pandemic to nearly £200million.

From Monday, some forces will also assist with further increased presence and enforcement of regulations at airports and ports, to ensure travellers are complying with new border health measures.

Additional officers will be deployed at airports and ports to support the enforcement of these regulations, including checking the reason for passengers’ journeys and helping to ensure compliance of arrivals from red list countries who will be part of the mandatory quarantine scheme.