Richmond Council has received £75,000 from the Government to recruit marshals who will enforce COVID-19 rules in town-centres across the borough.

Whilst they do not have enforcement powers, their duty will be to remind people to follow rules such as wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.

The new marshals will patrol busy areas including transport hubs, outside rail and bus stations, giving information and guidance to residents and businesses.

They can document any findings or concerns to the Regulatory Services Teams Environmental Protection Team.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“Whilst this funding is welcomed from the Government, it isn’t enough to make sure that all our high streets have a marshal at all times. So, we will be prioritising where they visit, looking at footfall and pinch points.

“Our wider environmental health and licensing teams are in the front line of tackling Coronavirus, carrying out inspections, explaining the rules and encouraging businesses and individuals to follow the guidelines.

“However, over the next few weeks, we know that it will be particularly important to further support people who will want to visit shops and businesses providing essential goods and services, in a COVID Secure way. The marshals will enable us to help people to feel safe doing so.

Across London the Police have increased their patrols to ensure people are complying with rules, especially in high risk areas.

The Council can use enforcement officers, such as environmental health and licensing officers, to encourage businesses and communities to follow guidelines. These officers also carry out inspections and can take enforcement action for non-compliance.