LAST WEEK, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable, John Campbell addressed concerns of Police resilience and vulnerability in a video message.
On Friday, April 3, Mr Campbell explained that 20% of their workforce are off work due to preexisting medical conditions, or the need to self-isolate.
He added that over the last few days, more than 500 staff have come back to work, having previosuly been self-isolating.
He talked about ensuring future resilience for the Police Force, and ensuring that officers do not contract or transmit the coronavirus.
To help build resilience, Mr Campbell explained that some of the patrol and response teams have been merged together. And TVP are keeping a reserve of officers — available at short notice — to assist in a potential surge in demand.
He said: “We’ve also asked whether or not any recently retired officers would want to come back and work with us over the next few weeks and months.
“And we’ve had over 200 officers make contact, and my thanks to them.”
Mr Campbell explained that the Police would hold Special Constabulary Officers in reserve.
He added that the Police have seen a decrease in demand over recent weeks, as the nighttime economy has closed and they’re not being called out to pubs and clubs.
“That’s quite important, because we are then able to use some of that capacity to enforce the new powers we’ve been given,” explained Mr Campbell. “These powers came in quite recently, and they’re very important because they’re about protecting the community and protecting the NHS.
“And that’s why my officers are going about, and engaging with members of the public.”
The new powers work to engage, explain, encourage and enforce — the latter will be a last resort.
Mr Campbell added that a member of the public directly coughed at officers, and that he is now in prison as a result.
Although most call-outs are decreasing, Police have already seen a rise in fraud and are anticipating a rise in domestic abuse cases — due to people being confined within their homes.
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse is urged to call 999, and if unable to speak, press 55 whilst on the phone . Police will then respond accordingly.