Wiltshire Police has reiterated its ongoing commitment to continuing to protect the public following the introduction of new Government restrictions to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
The announcement from the Prime Minister last night (23/03) designed to keep people at home in the hope it will help combat the national public health crisis, will have repercussions for police forces across the country.
In Wiltshire, the Force’s senior leaders have been holding emergency meetings to determine exactly what that means, both for our police officers and staff, but also for the communities we serve.
Both the Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson and the Chief Constable Kier Pritchard have pledged to continue to provide the very best possible service to the public.
Mr Macpherson said: “Our priority is keeping our communities - particularly the most vulnerable in our communities - safe from crime and disorder.
“We know that these new restrictions on travel and movement will create logistical problems for many, and will raise questions about how people can continue to try to earn a living, care for their children or other family members, or ensure they have food, medicine and other essential items for themselves and their families.
“However, it is vitally important to remember that these measures have been introduced for the greater good. They are a critical and necessary step in the fight against coronavirus and it requires us all to pull together and play our part to keep people safe and hopefully enable us to get our lives back to normal as soon as possible.”
He added: “I would also like to publicly thank and pay tribute to all our police officers and staff who are putting their public duty ahead of any concerns or worries they may have for their personal safety or their concerns for loved ones.
“They continue to be a visible and reassuring presence in our communities, and I know everyone will join me in thanking them for their ongoing commitment to keeping the public safe.”
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said that it was not yet clear what the coming months held, both for the police service and the general public, but he was determined to ensure people continued to have the utmost confidence in local policing.
He said: “These are unsettling times for everybody, but here at Wiltshire Police we remain committed to being there for you when you need us.
“Please do not be worried – we will still be answering emergency calls, we will still be a visible presence in our communities, and we are continuing to investigate crimes.
“That doesn’t mean that things aren’t going to be difficult for us. We know that there are challenging times ahead, and we are working hard to ensure we are able to respond swiftly to those challenges.
“What we need is cooperation from the public – we need you to adhere to these new measures, we need you to behave responsibly and safely, and we need you to work with us to ensure everyone is as safe as possible.
“Our message is clear – please stay at home and follow the instructions from the Government, in order to try to slow the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. We all need to work together and support each other to get through this difficult time.”
Wiltshire Police is encouraging people to visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest Government advice and to find answers to any questions about the detail of the new restrictions.
If anyone has questions or queries about local services, they can find out more from their local authority, at either http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus or https://www.swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus
Further updates on the impacts on local policing will be communicated using our social media channels, Community Messaging and our website https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/