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Gloucestershire Business News

Protection officers take Covid battle to Gloucestershire's streets

Eight Covid Community Protection Officers are hitting the streets of Gloucestershire from today to help the public and businesses combat the spread of the virus.

The officers from Gloucester's Community Protection scheme are adding the Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Stroud areas to their normal city beat with distinctive red vests.

The will be armed with face coverings and hand gel to give away, offer tips on social distancing and work with retailers to help them be Covid secure.

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesperson said: "To put these ambassadorial style roles in place, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud and Tewkesbury councils, and the county council have pooled some of their Covid funding from Government.

"Although the new officers do not have an enforcement role, they can - as a very last resort - issue yellow cards to people who seriously or repeatedly flout advice, which could lead to a fine from the police or their local council."

The scheme will see two community protection officers designated to Stroud, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham shared over five days a week with two additional officers in Gloucester for two days a week, assigned to the Barton, Tredworth and Kingsholm areas.

Gloucester's four Community Protection Officers will continue with their usual duties which include tackling shoplifting and providing assistance to homeless and vulnerable people.

In a joint statement, the leaders of all the councils involved said: "These continue to be tough times for us all and we want to do all we can to help people to be aware of the things they can do to keep themselves and others safe and, most importantly, reduce the spread of Covid.

"Although increasing, the number of cases remains low compared to many other places.

"We want to make sure it stays that way and would encourage everyone to play their part by remembering three simple things - hands, face and space."

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