Fake Covid marshals reportedly targeting Fenland businesses

Mystery surrounds reports that fake Covid marshals have been operating in Wisbech.

Fenland District Council issued a warning on social media following reports that people posing as officials had been conning their way into businesses and demanding ‘fine’ payments.

The council initially stated two businesses had been affected and that police were aware of the incidents - but later clarified “no official reports” had been made to officers.

A police spokesperson said: “A third-party concern was raised but this has not been officially reported to us.

“Officers have been patrolling Wisbech over the last few weeks and we are not aware of any similar concerns.”

Reports circulating over social media have suggested that men have been walking around Wisbech town centre in high-vis jackets with ‘Covid Warden’ printed on them.

They are claiming to be enforcing the government’s Covid measures.

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But Fenland does not have any Covid marshals, in Cambridgeshire they only operate in Peterborough and Cambridge.

In the autumn, the government announced it was giving £30m to councils to help enforce the measures that have been put in place.

Some of the money was for marshals who advise and support members of the public and businesses on social distancing rules and other guidelines.

They cannot officially enforce the measures, but it is hoped they would relieve council officers and the police who do have powers.

In Fenland, the district council’s environmental health team is responsible for all enforcement work around Covid compliance.

A council spokesperson said: “We have raised concerns regarding fake Covid marshals with the police but no official reports have been made at this stage.

“If anyone is concerned about who is calling at their property or business, always ask to see their ID.

“Concerns can also be reported to us on 01354 654321 or the police on 101.”

• Have you been approached by someone you have suspected to be a ‘fake’ Covid marshal? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk with your experience.