OFFICERS are motivated and ready to deal with the challenges of the developing coronavirus pandemic, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
Speaking the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a shutdown across the UK, Zoë Wakefield, Vice-Chair of Hampshire Police Federation said: “Morale is fine. [Coronavirus] is another challenge that we’ll get on and deal with.”
She said that some Hampshire Police officers were in isolation and several others were off work sick, but that “we’re managing OK at the moment”.
Night-time policing demand has dipped with the closure of restaurants and pubs, but there has been a spike in calls to Hampshire’s non-emergency 101 number.
The public are using that number to ask questions such as ‘Can I take my car for an MOT?’ or ‘I’ve just seen three people together outside – what should I do?’. Other forces around the country have also seen a surge in 101 calls and have asked the public not to burden these lines with social-distancing queries.
Zoë said that the police needed to ensure the public heeded calls to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. She said: “We need to reinforce the message that the Government’s been giving and educate the public.
“I think the majority of the public has been listening. To those who have not been, we need to give them a reality check about what it could mean and get them to realise why they need to comply with what the Government is asking.”