In Brief

Dominic Cummings: which alleged crimes will police be investigating?

Officers are using number-plate tracking software to follow No. 10 adviser’s movements

The police investigation into Dominic Cummings is being “overseen at the highest levels” and is considered a “critical incident”, according to reports.

The prime minister’s most senior aide is under investigation by Durham Constabulary not only for alleged breaches of lockdown laws but also claims that he may have broken the Highway Code by driving to “test his eyesight” after developing coronavirus symptoms, according to The Times.

The newspaper report that sources said investigating the allegations “properly and promptly was a matter that had a bearing on public confidence in the force”.

Officers are to use number-plate tracking software in order to follow the movements of a vehicle used by Cummings.

And two detectives from Durham police this week interviewed witness Robin Lees, a retired chemistry teacher who blew the whistle after seeing Cummings and his family at County Durham beauty spot Barnard Castle on 12 April, The Guardian reports. 

The Times say that Lees was interviewed approximately two hours after Cummings’ press conference on Monday, at which the No. 10 aide said he did not regret his decision to drive 260 miles from London to his parents’ home in Durham and then later to Barnard Castle. 

Lees told the newspaper that the detectives “were very thorough, asking every detail of what I saw”.

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The Guardian notes that investigators face the “competing pressures” of trying to avoid being “drawn into politics” while also making sure “their actions are proportionate”.

A spokesperson for the force said: “We can confirm that, over the last few days, Durham Constabulary has received further information and complaints from members of the public and we are reviewing and examining that information.” 

If Cummings is found to have breached the lockdown regulations, he could face a £100 fine that would be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. 

According to the Highway Code, the punishment for “careless and inconsiderate driving” - which could include driving with impaired sight - ranges from an unlimited fine and three to nine points on person’s driving licence, to being disqualified from driving.

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