‘Time for us to show togetherness once more’
Here Assistant Chief Constable Scott Hall sets out our approach to policing the latest lockdown…We recognise this has certainly not been the start to the New Year we had hoped, with a further lockdown now upon us.
However, last year in the face of such adversity – with the message very much about space and keeping our distance – the way the North East came together in so many other ways is to be commended.
And that togetherness is needed just as much now.
We would ask that you continue to work with us – and follow the regulations and guidance in place to protect one another.
In doing so, we are calling on all our communities to play their part in helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Under the lockdown measures, you are permitted to leave your home for a limited number of reasons, those briefly being:
- To shop for essentials
- Work (If you are unable to do your job at home)
- To seek medical assistance
- To escape from domestic abuse
- If you are considering venturing out for any other reason please think again – not only to protect yourself but those around you, people who may well be in a more vulnerable position.
We recognise that businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, with a number now closed and others finding new ways of working. This includes, the need to support their workforce to work from home wherever possible. We ask employers continue these efforts to ensure visits to the workplace and subsequent contacts with people are kept to an absolute minimum. We appreciate there will be those who need to physically go into work, and where that is the case we would ask companies and individuals do all they can to make the environment as safe as possible.
We all have a responsibility to abide by the regulations which are in place to help protect our family, friends, neighbours and wider communities.
We therefore wanted to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to you and the role we will continue to play during these times.
Throughout the pandemic, officers have been engaging with communities, explaining the regulations which are in place, encouraging people to follow them – and where necessary taking enforcement action.
This deliberate approach is rooted in the very tradition of policing by consent.
We will continue to speak to people about the restrictions and offer advice to those who have mistakenly broken them.
However, as we have previously made clear, we won’t waste time with endless encouragement for people who knowingly break the rules, undermine the efforts of others and ultimately endanger lives. They should expect to receive enforcement action.
We will also continue to work with our partners from local authorities to ensure those vital businesses which remain open are operating in accordance with the regulations and where necessary support them in addressing unacceptable behaviours by customers.
When we receive reports from the public of suspected breaches of the legislation we will send officers where it is proportionate to do so, while balancing our response with other incidents we have to attend.
It is important to remember other demands remain. We are proud of the way our officers, staff and volunteers have adapted the way they work to ensure they stay safe and keep the regular wheels of policing turning.
Throughout this pandemic the majority of people have done the right thing – and for that we are grateful.
And we know that no matter what 2021 brings, what will remain steadfast is the resolve of the North East to pull together.
*For more details on the restrictions please visit your local authority website.