Martin Surl has released a statement and video message for the public in relation to policing in Gloucestershire in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. It comes alongside a video and official statement from Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary, Rod Hansen, which can be seen at gloucestershire.police.uk.
Martin Surl, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire
As Police and Crime Commissioner, part of my role is holding the police to account and another is acting as your representative.
So, I hope I can reassure you that whatever the next few weeks and months throw at us, I have every confidence the police will rise to the challenge posed by Covid-19 and there will be no breakdown in law and order.
From my regular meetings with the Chief Constable, I can reassure you that our local police force is well led; well organised; disciplined and well used to dealing with major incidents – even something as unprecedented as this one.
The Constabulary’s neighbourhood teams will be at the heart of the police operation and it is more important than ever they receive your support in the event that what are currently guidelines from the Government become instructions – especially as when those instructions are likely to become ever more restrictive and challenging.
Looking after the older members in our communities has always been one of the priorities I have given the police and now that is more important than ever as the elderly are identified as most vulnerable. Sadly, there will be some criminal elements who sense an opportunity, but I know they will be far outnumbered by those who genuinely want to help.
It is important we do not let the fear of crime prevail and become the primary concern.
This is also a particularly testing time for voluntary organisations, many of whom I have close links with through the Commissioner’s Fund. My office will do all it can, not only to support them through this difficult period but also when we come out the other end, whenever that is.
The Government, public health bodies and local authorities are the main sources of information on Coronavirus but the police will also keep you informed as and when it is appropriate.
Whilst I have reassured the Chief Constable that I will support him in every way I can, I will also hold him to account on your behalf.
If you have not already signed up or if you are self-isolating, I urge you to register for Your Community Alerts (www.yourcommunityalerts.co.uk). This free service allows our teams to email you with updates about policing in your area, community support information and initiatives which could help vulnerable people or others who feel they need help and support. If you’re on social media, you can follow Gloucestershire OPCC on Facebook and Twitter.