POLICE officers in the county are "fatigued" and "under more pressure yet again" because of the second national lockdown, says Dorset Police Federation chairman Anna Harvey.

Anna has spoken out as Dorset moves into a four-week period of strict government restrictions, when officers will be expected to ensure people stay at home wherever possible.

The federation, which represents rank-and-file members of the force, has called for the government to be clear and unambiguous when it comes to providing information to the public.

Anna said: "The last eight months have been relentless for policing, with ever-changing legislation and guidance adding to confusion.

"The majority of police officers aren’t able to work from home and as the Covid cases increase, so does the risk to them.

"However, they will again put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and ultimately protect the NHS.”

Anna, who praised her colleagues’ adaptability, commitment and professionalism during difficult times, said the pandemic had taken its toll, leaving officers fatigued.

She said: “I know that the majority of the public have been supportive in this pandemic. However, we have seen all too often that others are not, leading to confrontational situations and assaults on our members.

"Nevertheless, we are prepared for whatever the the next few weeks brings, and Dorset Police Federation will continue to support and represent our colleagues at the highest level.”

Meanwhile, John Apter, Police Federation of England and Wales chairman, added: “Policing is already under enough pressure. My colleagues have been doing their best to police restrictions which have changed on a regular basis and have often been confusing.

"It is clear that the virus has not gone away and is spreading at an alarming rate.

"We must be clear in what we are asking of the public and what we are expecting of the police.

"The information from government must be clear and unambiguous. Anything less makes the policing of this pandemic even more challenging than it is already.”