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For more than 180 years the role of Leicestershire Police has been to protect people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from harm. While coronavirus presents us with an unprecedented challenge, I wanted to reassure you that our commitment to protect our communities hasn’t changed.
I’d urge you and those that you care about to follow the Public Health England guidance. Across recent days we have been really impressed by how much people have complied with the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign. That is crucial if we are to give our colleagues in the NHS a chance to fight back against coronavirus. This really is life and death. Is your journey essential? Do you really need to bulk buy?
We have seen legislation changed rapidly. By 2pm on Saturday we had been given powers to shut down pubs and clubs flouting the call from health experts to shut. To my astonishment a few pubs decided to stay open and had to be advised that was foolish.
We are also working with partners across LLR to deal with the various aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. We have well thought out plans, including one for pandemics, which are now being utilised. With councils, the NHS, the military, volunteer groups and the other blue light services we are working on how to ensure that we support vulnerable people, enforce the law and take pressure off NHS staff.
This partnership approach has seen us deal with all sorts of challenges in the recent past, including large scale public order and tragedies such as the explosion in Hinckley Road and the King Power Stadium helicopter crash. It is tried and tested. Whilst coronavirus is a huge challenge we have a strong partnership to work on it with.
We will be out and about being visible in your communities, although we have already moved away from our normal schedule of beat surgeries for what I am sure you would recognise as understandable reasons. We have plans in place to ensure that we prioritise the new challenges of coronavirus. You can help us by reporting non-emergency matters to us online via www.leics.police.uk
That frees up our call handling teams to deal with urgent 999 calls. Please only call 999 in an emergency.
You will also find it useful to follow us on social media, on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for Neighbourhood Link.
I am very proud of how the force has responded to this massive test. None of us is immune from the impacts of the illness.
Despite that Team Leicestershire has been going about its business with huge effort, energy, initiative and commitment. I could not be more proud of the whole team. Please don’t forget to thank them for what they are doing and please don’t forget that your own personal behaviours every day now make a difference, and can save lives.
Together we can come through this but we will only achieve that if we work together as communities across the entire force area.
Simon Cole QPM