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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

A major incident has been declared by the Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to help with the multi-agency response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

This declaration has been made to make sure all agencies are able to work together more effectively in the event of reduced staffing levels and an increase in demand. It has not been made because agencies are unable to cope. Read the full statement about the declaration from the LRF chair, ACC Nikki Watson.

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Policing services

We will update this page with further changes but the current situation is:

  • Emergency and high priority calls: You will see no changes to the way we respond to emergency and high priority calls. These are a critical function we will maintain to protect the public. We would encourage people to report non-urgent incidents online instead of calling 101.
  • COVID-19 breach of restrictions: If you have concerns that an individual or business has breached Government restrictions you can report it using our online form, ring us on 101 (for non-emergencies) or 999 (for emergencies). Find out how we are dealing with COVID-19 breaches.
  • Enquiry Offices: Further changes to the opening hours or closures, planned or unplanned, will be posted on our police station webpages. The following police Enquiry Offices remain open to the public:
  • New policing powers to reduce the spread of coronavirus: The Government has introduced policing powers to help control the virus and save lives. We are following national guidance set by the College of Policing to ensure we are using the powers consistently.
  • British Sign Language videos: Understand the new policing powers by watching these short videos created by the Police Link Officers for Deaf People and the National Police Chiefs Council.
  • Neighbourhood Beat Teams: Neighbourhood Beat Teams will still be patrolling your area and available to be contacted as normal. Public engagement events and surgeries have been cancelled. Find your local Beat Team.
  • Protecting our officers and staff: We are putting all measures in place to protect our officers and staff including encouraging home working where possible, moving face-to-face meetings to Skype and providing them with daily guidance from Public Health England and the Government. A discussion board has been set up for issues and concerns relating to the coronavirus.
  • Ride Along Scheme: Our Ride Along Scheme has been temporarily suspended and all applicants have been written to. We will update our Ride Along webpages once the Scheme is back up and running.

Keeping communities safe

Staying up to date

Government advice

Read the Government’s guidance on what you can and cannot do.

Health advice

  • General health advice: For health and hygiene advice visit the NHS website – you can also visit the website for advice on when to call 111.
  • Protecting yourself: Find out the 5 main things you can do to protect yourself and your community on the Public Health England website.
  • Advice for those displaying symptoms: It’s essential to stay at home and self-isolate if you are displaying symptoms. See official advice for staying at home, for households with possible COVID-19 infection and social distancing to protect vulnerable groups.
  • Advice for those self-isolating: If you’re self-isolating and feeling anxious about the Coronavirus situation, or if you are feeling isolated, please visit the Every Mind Matters website.
  • Support with mental health: Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has launched a 24-hour telephone support service. Anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s mental health can call 0300 3031320.
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