Sunday, 19 April 2020

The first Community Update has been released by Norfolk Constabulary.

Across Norfolk, our communities and public services have been working together to respond to the outbreak of coronavirus and do their bit in stopping the spread of this deadly disease. Daily life in Norfolk and the rest of the country has changed dramatically in just a few weeks; the busy streets and beauty spots we know and patrol are almost unrecognisable. 

As police officers, we are used to dealing with events and incidents that have a profound impact on those involved. We serve to protect the public, save life and prevent harm; helping people in need at a time of crisis. But this is a crisis like no other. And it is affecting each and every one of us. For many of you, this is going to be a difficult and unsettling time. For some of you, this crisis will bring tragedy and heartache. 

Despite the challenges, we are here to serve and day-to-day policing continues alongside enforcement of the government restrictions. We’re used to planning for emergencies and critical incidents and these plans have been activated in different ways to help the organisation manage demand and resources. We have experienced commanders working in all districts who are overseeing these plans in your area. We also continue to work closely with other public services in Norfolk to make sure we have the best response in place for the county. 

Working together is key if we are going to overcome the challenges COVID-19 poses, this applies to all agencies involved and our communities. Our best chance of beating this virus is to work together stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Social distancing is only effective if we all work together and follow that advice. I know people are making real sacrifices to do that and I would like to thank everyone who is doing their part. Of course, we know through patrols and calls you have made to us that not everyone shares the same motivation, with a minority of people flouting the restrictions. 

Our approach to policing these restrictions is to engage, explain and encourage in the first instance. Enforcement will be a last resort, but please be reassured that officers will not be afraid to use the powers available to them if required. I believe this is the right approach, dealing robustly with people who ignore the restrictions while maintaining the method of policing by consent. It goes without saying this will be the hardest challenges faced in our lifetime. I’m confident, through the strength of our communities which I’ve witnessed policing this county, that we will get through together. 

We will keep you informed as much as possible and I would encourage you to follow our social media channels and check our website for regular updates. You might not see us as much in your community but day-to-day policing does continue. The way we are working has changed but our commitment to you hasn’t. We will continue to serve and protect the most vulnerable as best as we can.

Many thanks - Temporary Assistant Chief Constable , Julie Wvendth