- The event was due to take place in September 2020, but has been cancelled as a result of Covid-19.
- This is the first year the Open Day has been cancelled since 2014.
- Open days were re-introduced by PCC Martin Surl in his 2012 Police and Crime Plan.
- Almost 12,000 people attended the free event in 2019.
One of the highlights of Gloucestershire’s policing calendar is the latest local event to fall victim to Covid-cancellation.
Due to take place in September 2020, the Gloucestershire Constabulary and OPCC Open Day will no longer take place, following concerns over how the event could run safely whilst adhering to social distancing measures.
Held on weekends in September each year since 2014, the free event sees almost 12,000 members of the public attend the Waterwells Police HQ. It offers the chance to meet the police, sit inside a patrol car, watch police dog demonstrations and even see a riot in action. The re-introduction of an event for the public was part of Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl’s Police and Crime Plan when he was elected in 2012.
In 2019, the event pulled crowds of 11,850 – almost double the number in 2018. The family-friendly event will return in 2021.
Over 225 colleagues work at the open day, giving up their time for free to help engage and educate families in Gloucestershire about the work of their local force. The event is meticulously planned over a number of months, but as restrictions on large gatherings are still likely to be in place over the summer, the decision was made to cancel this year’s event to ensure public safety.
Martin Surl is Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner: “Engaging with the public in such a positive way is a fantastic opportunity for the OPCC and the Constabulary, and it’s a real shame that we won’t be able to host the Open Day this year. Public safety is our priority and it wouldn’t be right for us to invite thousands of families to visit us under the current circumstances.”
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “The Open Day is one of the highlights of our year, and we’re always proud to welcome visitors to Waterwells to meet their local force, it’s a real celebration of what we do in Gloucestershire.
“While it would be wonderful to celebrate after the tough year we’ve faced so far, I hope we’ll be able to return safely in 2021 with an even bigger celebration than ever before.”