Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable Rod Hansen and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl have today published video messages about the Constabulary’s response during the coronavirus pandemic and the role of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Below is the Chief Constable’s statement in full:

I’d like to first extend my thanks to the people of Gloucestershire.

Many of you have demonstrated tremendous kindness, generosity and camaraderie in these uncertain times. Simple tasks like walking a neighbour’s dog and picking up groceries or prescriptions can make a huge difference to vulnerable or isolated members of the community, so thank you for your support at this time.

While Public Health England is leading the coronavirus response, we are working closely to support not only them but our partners across a range of sectors, including the emergency services, to best protect the public.

As a police force, Gloucestershire Constabulary has spent the last few weeks planning to ensure we can continue to keep the county safe as the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies.

I want to reassure you that we’ve been working around the clock to introduce proportionate measures which allow us to continue our key purpose of keeping people safe from harm.

This has meant encouraging our police staff to work from home where possible, splitting up teams to work in tactical locations across the county, and limiting face-to-face contact with officers to ensure we can protect the frontline.

We have a dedicated command structure in place and some of our staff have cancelled leave to ensure availability; others are working longer shifts to make sure we can maintain resilience.

Our systems allow us to track capability on a daily basis to make sure we can deliver policing services.

We also have support from our dedicated Special Constabulary. These officers give up their time voluntarily but have the same powers as police officers.

Along with other police forces across the country, we are making plans to call upon the Special Constabulary even more, to help us continue to keep Gloucestershire safe.

In the meantime, our officers will still be visible across Gloucestershire and will be ready to respond when needed, although they may have to adapt the way they work in line with public health advice.

I have always said that policing starts and ends in a neighbourhood.

Our Neighbourhood policing teams will continue to be at the heart of what we do.

Looking after older and more vulnerable members of our communities is an important part of this.

If you are a victim of crime please continue to report it online at gloucestershire.police.uk, using 101, or in an emergency, 999.

The floods of 2007 demonstrated the incredible resilience of local agencies and the general public in the county.

The police service nationally also has tried and tested measures in place to support local forces in responding to events like this.

I would also like to remind you that we provide a range of advice and practical tips to help you keep safe, whether you’re at home, at work or elsewhere. Over coming days and weeks, please look out for this information.

If you have not already signed up or if you are self-isolating, I urge you to register for Your Community Alerts at www.yourcommunityalerts.co.uk.

This free service allows our teams to email you with updates about policing in your area, community support information and initiatives which could help vulnerable people or others who feel they need help and support. If you’re on social media, you can follow Gloucestershire Constabulary on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also keep up to date with information and advice on www.111.nhs.uk and locally from our partners at Gloucestershire County Council via www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/covid-19.

In PCC Martin Surl’s message, Mr. Surl, who is vice chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), stresses the importance of supporting local businesses who may be struggling due to the economic effects of Corona Virus.

Mr Surl said, “I have been very impressed to see how communities are beginning to support each other and making sure our service providers are paid on time is another way the police can play its part.

“I understand that many small businesses in particular will be facing problems over their cash flow. The Constabulary has assured me that all verified invoices will be paid on receipt irrespective of previous agreed terms.

“I hope this will be one less worry for those who provide services to the police”.

He also promised continued support to other local organisations who make an important contribution to his police and crime plan.

“The voluntary and community sector is something we have always championed in the OPCC. They are our best partners and this is a particularly testing time for them, many of whom we have important links with through the Commissioner’s Fund.

“My office will do all it can, not only to support them through this difficult period but also when we come out the other end whenever that is”.