Here is an update from Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, following his briefing with Kit Malthouse MP, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service. Roger also receives regular updates from leaders from Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
This week he covers police powers to encourage social distancing, logistics around personal protection equipment, provision of frontline services, plus the fantastic contribution volunteers are making across Essex during this pandemic.
His key message though: * Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives*
You can watch his message here:
A full transcript of the update is below:
“Hello, I am Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. I would like to update you following a conversation I had with Kit Malthouse MP, the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, in light of the new policing powers.
“Firstly, it is important to stress these powers are around making sure that people conform to the social distancing rules, stay home and save lives. The police’s initial response is going to be to encourage people to go home, make sure that they get the right advice and appeal to their better natures, only then will we be seeing them issuing fixed penalty notices, which I am sure you will know, start at £60 but can rise to nearly £1,000 for such offences. The other powers are to disperse people and use reasonable force to take them home, again intended to make sure that we acknowledge the social distancing rules and to stay home and save lives.
“I think it is also worthwhile mentioning, that we talked about the logistics problems around protective personal equipment. We know there are issues there, but I received a good assurance that those issues are being solved and equipment is on its way. We can also certainly find some local solutions too.
“We have to recognise that things have changed in the last couple of weeks, but I can assure you that the police service and fire and rescue service are working well. We have got as much resource focused on the front line as we can have and we are still providing the same service in terms of keeping vulnerable people safe, in terms of responding and putting out fires and of course catching criminals.
I was glad to see in the last week that the Fire Brigade Union come around and agree that their members can drive ambulances and indeed deliver vital medical supplies as well as delivering supplies to vulnerable people. I am really glad to see them do that in response to pressure from their own membership.
“I can also tell you that our victim support services are still working as they should be, that is obviously something that we needed to work on and make sure that we support the voluntary sector.
“We have had a great response to calls for volunteers, both from across Essex and from across the country, not just in terms of the NHS but our Special Constables and indeed our on-call firefighters. We have some of the best availability of on call fire services that we have seen in quite a long time. The Special Constables delivered 4,600 hours of work in the last week, 1000 hours more than the same week last year, something like 770 interventions and incidents and 69 arrests, so there are some really good things going on around our county.
“I would just also like to assure you as well that we are making sure across the piece we are getting our resources into the right place. I am taking part in meetings with our criminal justice system, with the health system and with businesses, all of whom are working their very hardest to keep you as safe as you can be.
“I’ll just re-emphasize again, the key thing is to stay home, save lives, protect the NHS.
If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police here