FATIGUE is setting in for Hampshire Police officers as lockdown three drags on, the force’s Federation has said.
Zoe Wakefield, Federation Chair, said this lockdown is just as tough as previous ones and that officers are struggling with greater levels of sickness absence.
She said: “Fatigue is really setting in for officers. Our sickness rates are higher this time round. That’s probably just correlation with higher numbers of sickness with the pandemic generally.
“But there’s more concern amongst officers because there’s a higher number of deaths this time round. There’s been some recent police officer deaths as well which obviously highlights and heightens anxiety amongst officers.”
Enforcement is ramping up in line with the rest of the country – in a bid to keep people safe – but officers are still being called to some ridiculous calls. Officers in Basingstoke were recently called to a house party where the occupant said she wasn’t aware of a pandemic as she didn’t watch the news.
There is now “no excuse” for people not being aware of the rules, Zoe said.
She added: “Officers are tired. The anxiety is starting to take its toll. But they’re still out there doing the best job they can, working as hard as they can. Some of the normal day to day demand is down because a lot of businesses are shut, but the Covid deployments have increased so they’re still busy.”
Zoe concluded: “It must be remembered that the majority of police officers can’t work from home and they are doing the best they can during difficult, stressful times to keep the public and the NHS safe. They should be really proud of themselves.”