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Police staff in Cornwall redeployed to cope with COVID-19 outbreak

Police staff in Cornwall redeployed to cope with COVID-19 outbreak

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 12:16pm 27th March 2020.

Staff from Devon and Cornwall Police are being trained in other departments in a bid to maintain public safety and protect residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The force says it has rapidly reallocated resource from back-office functions to frontline policing to build resilience. At least 125 officers have been redeployed in the past week, with 40 instructed to handle phone calls and Sergeants given custody training.

More incidents are being handled over the phone or via the force’s digital communications systems to reduce the risk to staff and the public of spreading the virus, and the public will be asked to be patient as the force may take more time to follow up reports relating to lower-level crimes.

Police say the priority of response will be given to maintaining public order, situations of violence or where life is in danger and where a vulnerable person is involved.

Since ‘stay at home’ measures were introduced on Monday 23rd March, the force has seen a significant reduction in reports of some crimes, such as those related to the evening and night-time economy and motoring, while domestic abuse has increased.

“Requests for police attendance and the investigations of crimes will be ranked on the basis of the threat, risk and harm and will be responded to proportionately.

“When policing is under strain, from either demand or capacity issues, some services will have to be reduced – such as historic investigations that have a low risk attached to them. We will always focus on core policing and serious and violent crime.”

Spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police

The force is asking people to observe the latest advice on staying at home to reduce the spread of the virus and demand on the NHS. Officers have been speaking people in public spaces and residents are advised that they may be asked about their reasons for being out in public.

“It is vital that victims of crime understand that there are no types of crime which we will not respond to or log and we will not stop arresting people.

“We are set up, with tried and tested business continuity procedures, to respond with partners to precisely these situations. In the past fortnight the force has demonstrated that it can make rapid and positive changes to the way it operates to respond to a major incident.

“We will continue our day-to-day policing and will be visible in our communities. If we come across people choosing to break the rules set up to protect society’s most vulnerable, we will take action.”

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police

Members of the public are asked to think twice before they contact the force so officers are able to respond to the most pressing matters.

The police are working with other partners and leading the Local Resilience Forum, which is advising anyone with coronavirus symptoms of a persistent cough and a high temperature to stay at home for seven days from the moment symptoms begin if they live alone.

Anyone living with others with symptoms of coronavirus illness must stay at home for seven days from the onset of symptoms, other residents of the household must remain home for 14 days. Full information is available on the gov.uk website.

The force is urging people to think carefully before contacting them unless it is an emergency, for which you should still call 999, consider reporting online or using webchat before calling the 101 non-emergency reporting tool.

Crimes can be reported anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Victims of crime can receive practical and emotional support by getting in touch with the Devon and Cornwall victim Care unit via its website or calling 01392 475900.

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