Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know
In March 2020, Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum (LRF) declared a major incident to help with the multi-agency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2021, a decision was taken to stand down major incident status as steps are taken towards recovery. Read the full statement from the LRF chair, ACC Nikki Watson.
View the latest on:
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: All 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. In line with the government’s guidance regarding COVID-19, do not leave home or attend a Police Station if you or someone you live with has any of the following:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
- Neighbourhood Policing teams: Neighbourhood Policing teams will still be patrolling your area and are available to be contacted as normal. Some public engagement events and surgeries are now taking place. Find your local Neighbourhood Policing 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 regular 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
- Public health regulations have granted police additional powers to enforce restrictions in line with the Government’s COVID-19 advice. This includes enforcing restrictions on specified gatherings. Find out more about the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
- From 17 May 2021, the rules for entering England change depending on where you have travelled from outside the UK. Check the latest guidance on international travel.
- In England, the Government has introduced new laws meaning there are some places where you must wear a face covering by law, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse. Find out when to wear a face covering.
- 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 how to stop the spread of coronavirus.
- 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.
- Wellbeing advice: If you are experiencing anxiety about lockdown lifting, or are feeling isolated or anxious about the Coronavirus situation, 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.