Frontline police officers are ‘pulling together’ to fight crime during pandemic, say federations
- Credit: SUFFOLK POLICE FEDERATION
Fighting crime during the coronavirus crisis is challenging but frontline officers are “pulling together” to deal with the pressures of the pandemic, according to the Suffolk and Essex police federations.
The Covid-19 outbreak has seen unprecedented restrictions on people’s movements to halt the spread of the virus, with police having new powers to deal with people who do not follow lockdown rules.
People can only leave their homes to go shopping for basic necessities and medicines, to exercise, or to go to work if their job cannot be done from home.
Officers can fine or even arrest those flouting the rules under legislation enacted last week.
These new measures are on top of day-to-day policing for forces, who may be down on numbers due to illness or officers having to self-isolate.
MORE: All our coronavirus news hereSteve Taylor, chairman of Essex Police Federation, said: “In my experience on the team level, on the local level, you’re working for your mates around you, you’re making it work, you’re pulling it together.
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“It’s when you start going a bit wider out, and you start asking people’s views what the force-wide morale is, I think people then tend to suggest it’s a bit grimmer.
“It’s a difficult one. There’s a lot of worried Bobbies up and down Essex.
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“They’re worried about the future. They’re worried about the uncertainty, and they’re just trying to do the best they can in those circumstances.
“It’s that trying to do the best they can that’s getting us through, I think.”
MORE: Warnings about dangers of inactivity during lockdown – as new campaign launchesDarren Harris, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said there is “anxiety” among officers but they are trying to do their best in the circumstances.
“I think the frontline officers, from a personal perspective of their own, are concerned and anxious about performing their duty day-to-day.
“But on the flipside, they’ve got a job to do and they are a professional, dedicated workforce who always get the job done, and know they need to carry on to protect the public and save lives.
“It’s difficult to measure, but there is good team spirit, they’re working with each other and I think that goes for the further blue light family.
“We need to play our part in this bigger role to primarily keep people safe and support the NHS so that they can cope.”