Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know
A major incident has been declared by the Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to help with the multi-agency response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
This declaration has been made to make sure all agencies are able to work together more effectively in the event of reduced staffing levels and an increase in demand. It has not been made because agencies are unable to cope. Read the full statement about the declaration from the LRF chair, ACC Nikki Watson.
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We will update this page with further changes but the current situation is:
- Emergency and high priority calls: You will see no changes to the way we respond to emergency and high priority calls. These are a critical function we will maintain to protect the public. We would encourage people to report non-urgent incidents online instead of calling 101.
- COVID-19 breach of restrictions: If you have concerns that an individual or business has significantly breached Government restrictions you can report it using our online form, ring us on 101 (for non-emergencies) or 999 (for emergencies).
- Enquiry Offices: Most of our Enquiry Offices have now re-opened. Before visiting them, please check the individual station’s page for up to date opening hours on our police station webpages.
- Neighbourhood Beat Teams: Neighbourhood Beat Teams will still be patrolling your area and available to be contacted as normal. Some public engagement events and surgeries are now taking place. Find your local Beat Team.
- Protecting our officers and staff: We are putting all measures in place to protect our officers and staff including encouraging home working where possible, moving face-to-face meetings to Microsoft Teams and providing them with daily guidance from Public Health England and the Government. A discussion board has been set up for issues and concerns relating to the coronavirus.
- Ride Along Scheme: Our Ride Along Scheme has been temporarily suspended and all applicants have been written to. We will update our Ride Along webpages once the Scheme is back up and running.
Keeping communities safe
- Guidance from the Government on helping others: Across the UK people are playing their part and providing essential support. Find out how to help others safely.
- Government COVID-19 Information Service on WhatsApp: Find out about the GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp.
- Local authority websites: Visit your local authority’s website for dedicated COVID-19 guidance and support:
- Action Fraud: Criminals may use the coronavirus pandemic to carry out scams online, over the phone, or in person. Visit the Action Fraud website for the latest advice.
Staying up to date
- New public health regulations have granted police additional powers to enforce restrictions in line with the Government’s COVID-19 advice. This includes the requirement to close businesses and premises, and enforce restrictions on movement and gatherings. Read the Government’s guidance on what you can and cannot do.
- From 8 June 2020, people who arrive in England will need to self-isolate for 14 days (some exceptions apply).
- In England, the Government has introduced new laws meaning must wear a face covering on public transport as of the 24 July 2020 in shops and supermarkets.
- We are following national guidance set by the College of Policing to ensure we are using powers consistency.
- General health advice: For health and hygiene advice visit the NHS website – you can also visit the website for advice on when to call 111.
- Protecting yourself: Find out the 5 main things you can do to protect yourself and your community on the Public Health England website.
- Advice for those displaying symptoms: It’s essential to stay at home and self-isolate if you or anyone you are live with are displaying symptoms. See official advice for staying at home, for households with possible COVID-19 infection and social distancing to protect vulnerable groups.
- Test and Trace: The NHS Test and Trace service has been launched in the UK. Read the official advice on what happens if you test positive for coronavirus or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Advice for those self-isolating: If you’re self-isolating and feeling anxious about the Coronavirus situation, or if you are feeling isolated, please visit the Every Mind Matters website.
- Support with mental health: Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has launched a 24-hour telephone support service. Anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s mental health can call 0300 3031320.