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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

New PC and volunteer officer share their thoughts from the frontline

Force crest

It’s not only regular police officers and staff who are stepping up to be here for you during the coronavirus crisis.

Officers from our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship have hit the streets earlier than usual, while many of our Special Constables are giving us more of their time.

We caught up with a couple of them to find out what it has been like on the front line.

PC Ellie Murphy has been posted to Weston-super-Mare, where she’s being tutored by a PC with 18 years’ experience. She said:

“I was really happy to be starting early, but it’s a weird time to be joining – it’s not what I was expecting.

“We were all just itching to get out on the streets – this is what we signed up for and we’ve all got to rise to it.

“We’ve been on some proactive patrols and people are being really good about staying at home and social distancing – it’s very quiet.

“We also checked on the welfare of an elderly woman whose family were worried she had been the victim of a theft – thankfully that was a case of miscommunication.”

Ellie has already made her first arrest – a man wanted for failing to appear in court.

Special Sergeant Joel Bowd is a volunteer police officer who works from Bridgwater. He’s currently on a period of extended leave from his day job due to the current situation, enabling him to give us more hours – 134 during March.

He said: “I have been able to engage with members of the public. There are still incidents including concern for welfare and being a volunteer enables me to help support and comfort people who may just need someone to talk to.

“This week I responded to an abandoned 999 call which turned out to be a very distressed single mum. I was able to spend as much time as needed with her to make sure she was ok.

“I’m very grateful to my full-time colleagues who work tirelessly to serve the public and I’m pleased I’m able to assist.” 

Thirty-two PCSOs are also joining their beats earlier than planned – look out for some of their stories soon!