29th April 2020.
Welcome to a special edition of the stakeholder bulletin to provide you with an update on the role of Cheshire Constabulary and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner in helping with the ongoing national emergency of the coronavirus pandemic.
As we move into the sixth week of restrictions in a bid to save lives and protect the NHS, we remain committed to doing everything we can, working alongside our partners to play our part in the national effort.
Our police officers and PCSOs remain as visible as possible in our local communities, engaging with people and providing vital reassurance and support to both residents and the business community.
We are following the 4E’s approach – engaging with people, explaining the reasons behind the regulations and encouraging them to take it on board to ensure that everyone is fully complying with these restrictions. Only as a last resort will enforcement action be taken, when it is necessary and proportionate.
Checks on roads are continuing to make sure that those travelling in Cheshire are doing so for one of the essential reasons. Criminals are quick to change their habits depending on the circumstances and, even in a nationwide lockdown, they will still find a way to operate. Part of our checks are to ensure those out and about are not there for criminal gain.
The overwhelming majority of people in Cheshire are being supportive and complying with the Health Protection Regulations and guidance issues by the government. However, not everyone is following the advice and a number of house parties and social gatherings have taken place. Clear guidance has been issued to our teams in relation to the approach that we will take.
Our police officers, staff and volunteers continue to work extremely hard, alongside other key workers, in challenging circumstances. Despite this, there are people who are choosing to use the pandemic as an opportunity to threaten and assault those working on the frontline to keep us safe. This is not acceptable.
We are working closely alongside our partners in the criminal justice system to ensure that anyone involved in this kind of behaviour faces serious criminal charges. Assaults against emergency workers are punishable by up to 12 months in prison. Coughs directed as a threat at other key workers or members of the public could be charged as common assault.
We would also like to remind you of the ways you can get in touch with Cheshire Constabulary. For general enquiries, please click here to contact us or if it is not an emergency you can call 101. In an emergency, where a crime is taking place or there is a danger to life, always dial 999.
A number of police station helpdesks remain open across Cheshire for residents who have no other means of reporting crime during the coronavirus lockdown. A total of 16 police stations will open to offer a service for members of the public who cannot contact the Constabulary online or by telephone.
Details of the helpdesks that remain open and the opening times can be accessed here.
The latest government advice and information on the Covid-19 outbreak is available via https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
This bulletin provides you with a snapshot of key updates from the force over the past two weeks. You are a valued stakeholder and we would like to thank you for your continued support.
David Keane – Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire
Chief Constable Darren Martland – Cheshire Constabulary