Retired police officers could return to help enforce lockdown
PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:05 26 March 2020
Many retired Suffolk police officers have offered to return to duty should they be needed during the coronavirus outbreak, the county’s chief constable has said.
Chief Constable Steve Jupp said the force has received “lots of responses” from retired officers who are willing to help and it is something the force is considering.
New lockdown measures enforced by the goverment to tackle the COVID-19 crisis will see police have new powers from Thursday to disperse public gatherings and fine offenders who do not follow the rules.
These new measures could put additional strain on Suffolk Constabulary on top of regular policing and Mr Jupp said the force is continuing to consider all options as the situation changes from day-to-day.
“We are actively looking at all options and have been for a few weeks,” he said. “We’ve had lots of responses from retired officers, offering support.
“The special constabulary have volunteers and we have a great history in this county of people wanting to help one another.
“People are coming forward and of course the public would expect us to feature them in all our contigency planning, and we have done.
“But at the moment, we are still policing normally.”
MORE: County police chief says new powers will be enforced only as a ‘last resort’
Campaigners have also voiced fears over how the crisis could cause an increase in domestic abuse cases in the county.
Mr Jupp said he wants victims to know that domestic violence will remain a top priority for the force despite other current pressures.
“Domestic violence concerns me all the time,” My Jupp said. “It’s one of our priorities, how we can support vulnerable people, how we can prevent people who want to use violence or intimidation.
“As I’ve said, we will be policing normally as much as we can but where we do have pressures on us, things like domestic violence will always be at the top of our priorities.
“People who are victims work with our partners, work with the third sector to prevent this happening and I note a number of voluntary and women’s groups have rightly highlighted it, and there are studies coming out of Italy and China which have sadly highlighted a rise.
“But we will be taking a proactive stance. If people are committing domestic violence, they will be arrested and they will be prosecuted, I can assure you of that. I really want people who are victims to know that we will be supporting them.”