The coronavirus pandemic has placed us all in an unprecedented situation, which will require unprecedented action from the police to keep our communities safe.
It is likely that police officers will be asked to exercise powers contained in the government’s Coronavirus Bill that are significantly beyond their usual remit. While, I have no doubt that officers will do their duty to their upmost, it is vitally important that the government gives them the support they need to work effectively and safely.
Government guidance and safeguards are essential to ensuring that officers can carry out their duties lawfully and in the best interests of the public. With this in mind, I have written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to ask that she sends clear guidance to the police regarding any additional powers that have been granted to officers.
I have also asked her to provide police with the protective equipment, testing, advice on self-isolating, and mental health support that they need during these challenging times.
And to ensure that the police force is adequately staffed, I’ve called on the government to put steps in place to allow officers who have left the service to return, to better support Special Constables, and to reduce the bureaucratic burden on frontline officers.
You can read the full text of my letter below. Police officers have an unimaginably difficult job ahead of them and I will continue to do what I can to support them in their duties.