Gloucestershire chief constable confirms increase in police presence to oversee coronavirus measures
By James Young | 24th March 2020
Police presence on Gloucestershire's streets will increase due to the government's virtual lockdown, the county's chief constable has confirmed.
In a statement following the increased measures that were announced on Monday evening, chief constable Rod Hansen urged the public to comply with the changes.
He confirmed extra bobbies would be on the beat to ensure social distancing measures are implicated but said the overriding mission was to keep the county safe and "provide reassurance."
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "Firstly I want to thank everyone for their continued support through these unprecedented times which we are all facing together.
"The new measures announced by the Prime Minister yesterday to increase social distancing and stay at home have been put in place to save lives and protect the NHS.
"They are there to protect you and I'd urge you all to please comply with them.
"We're working around the clock to understand what the legislation will mean, and we'll share this with you in due course.
"In the meantime, there will be more visible policing across the county in support of the Prime Minister's directive, ready to respond when needed, to help keep Gloucestershire safe and, I hope, to provide reassurance."
Chief constable Hansen added that he had been impressed by the community efforts seen so far and urged people to keep cooperating with the, until-now, unprecedented restrictions on life.
He said that the focus will be on working with people during the virtual lockdown and said that enforcement powers will be used as a last resort.
"Please help us find our way through this - given the extraordinary community spirit we've already seen throughout this fast moving situation, I hope we have your cooperation," he said.
"As a police service, we have a duty to protect life and support the Government and our partners in health agencies in the fight against this pandemic.
"The message I have given to my staff is that we will focus on policing by consent, working with people.
"Enforcement should be a last resort as we hope people will listen and cooperate.
"I have however let all my staff know that they have my full backing when they do exercise legal authority if the circumstances require and justify it.
"Please do follow the advice, stay at home and help us to help the national effort. I am grateful for your patience and continued support during these times of great uncertainty.
"Please be reassured that we are still here if you need us for an emergency, however overnight we had numerous calls to our Force Control Room asking what these new measures mean.
"I must stress that it is vital our emergency 999 and non-emergency 101 phone lines are kept free to deal with crime related issues.
"When we have the answers, we will share these with you through our numerous channels including on our website, our Facebook page and through Your Community Alerts (www.yourcommunityalerts.co.uk) - a free messaging service where you can sign up to receive emails.
"If you are a victim of crime please continue to report it online at gloucestershire.police.uk, using 101, or in an emergency, 999 - and we will respond as normal."
"Once again thank you for your continued support and please help us, cooperate with us and lets all do everything we can to save lives and protect the NHS."
Information and advice is available on www.gov.uk/coronavirus and locally from Gloucestershire County Council's Help Hub https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/
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