• The event was originally scheduled for September 2021, but was has now been postponed until spring 2022.
  • This is the second time the Open Day has been postponed because of Covid.
  • It was launched in 2014 and welcomes thousands of local people to the Waterwells Headquarters.
  • Almost 12,000 people attended the last free event in 2019.

One of the highlights of Gloucestershire’s policing calendar has been postponed for a second time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Originally due to take place in September 2020, but cancelled until September 2021, the Gloucestershire Constabulary and OPCC Open Day has now been postponed until spring 2022.

While many events are still planning to continue over the summer of 2021, organisers have raised a number of concerns, leading to the latest postponement.

These include the interactive nature of the event for families; if people will feel comfortable enough at a large-scale public event by September 2021; and staffing issues as the force expects to face unprecedented demand during spring and summer during the easing of lockdown.

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, visit the Control Room and custody facilities, watch police dog demonstrations and even see a riot in action.

In 2019, the event pulled crowds of 11,850 – almost double the number in 2018. The family-friendly event will now return in 2022 after a two-year break.

More than 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 will require additional planning to allow the event to go ahead safely in the spring of 2022.

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 all faced, I hope we’ll be able to return safely in 2022 with an even bigger celebration than ever before.”