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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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Policing services

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 breached Government restrictions you can report it using our online form, ring us on 101 (for non-emergencies) or 999 (for emergencies).
  • Enquiry Offices: Further changes to the opening hours or closures, planned or unplanned, will be posted on our police station webpages. The following police Enquiry Offices remain open to the public:
  • New policing powers to reduce the spread of coronavirus: Find out about the new policing powers introduced by the Government to help respond to coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
  • Neighbourhood Beat Teams: Neighbourhood Beat Teams will still be patrolling your area and available to be contacted as normal. Public engagement events and surgeries have been cancelled. 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 Skype 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.
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections: The PCC elections have been cancelled. Read the full statement from our Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens.

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.
  • Support the NHS: NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the care sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. Sign up as a volunteer online.
  • 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.
  • Helping the elderly and vulnerable: We know communities are rallying around to help the elderly and vulnerable over the coming days and weeks. Check your local authority website for details of how you can help. In Bristol, you can visit the Can Do website to register schemes and check what’s already set-up. Somerset County Council has a dedicated COVID-19 page on their website with links and contacts.
  • COVID-19 support helpline launched for Somerset residents: A helpline has been set up for those living in Somerset who need support from their council. Call 0300 790 6275 between 08:00-18:00 for personal, emotional and financial support, guidance for the homeless, transport and waste collection. The service is available 7 days a week.

Staying up to date

Government advice

Read the latest advice and information from the government on GOV.UK.

Health advice

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