Black Lives Matter vigils - statement from Chief Constable Rod Hansen
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Chief Constable Rod Hansen has issued the following statement: "Whilst the context may be different in America, and without prejudicing a criminal justice process that is underway, the death of Mr Floyd was appalling to witness and professionally intolerable to fathom. It is understandable why there has been such an outpouring of emotion including anger, fear and anxiety.
"In black and ethnic minority communities in particular there is frustration and anger. It is therefore more important than ever for us to be understanding and humble in the way that we behave, speak or act. I want us to allow members of the public and our colleagues to have a voice.
"We are always trying to improve as a service provider, we do have strong relationships with our communities here in Gloucestershire so we must use this time to build upon those relationships, be present with them, support and listen.
"Over the last week local policing teams have been speaking to our communities about any concerns they may have and officers will be present to facilitate and support the vigils happening this weekend.
"We have liaised with organisers to try and find a way to allow people to express their emotions whilst at the same time helping to keep them safe, given the ongoing Covid-19 social distancing requirements. This is not easy but we must find a way to facilitate both ambitions.
"Similar events across the country have been very poignant and have largely passed without incident, with many people also being respectful of the Covid-19 restrictions.
"Our officers are conscious of this though and will explain to and encourage people to follow the guidelines if needed, all with the intention of helping people to stay safe from harm."