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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Police officers should rest and recuperate while they can

3 April 2020

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair, Andy Roebuck is encouraging Police officers to rest and recuperate while they can – because of the expected challenges posed by COVID-19 which could change at any moment.

The past few weeks with the implementation of the restrictions being placed on the country has brought a different policing style. The Police Federation has been working locally and nationally with the changes and ensuring safe guarding for all workers is in place. The Policing style is key moving forward with the emphasis for officers and staff to Engage, Explain, Encourage and if required Enforce.

Andy Roebuck said, “Policing has always been a difficult job. We have always policed by consent and that principle is so important today. Our officers have had to adapt with no preparation time or explicit training to new legislation. The basics of British policing, is that we police with our communities. The need to Engage, Explain and Encourage is key for the policing legacy. We will have to Enforce, but we want the communities to appreciate and understand the real situation we have with COVD-19”.

With the COVID-19 picture changing almost by the hour Andy said it is critical that officers rest and recuperate while they can, especially as more of their colleagues are likely to be off work recovering from the virus or self-isolating as the pandemic continues.

Andy explained; “Whilst our demand has reduced, we have the ability to resource accordingly, whilst allowing staff to have time away from work. Officers need to take this time when able and use it to relax, recuperate and keep fit.

It’s essential to have that time away from police work, away from phones, away from laptops, away from making decisions – take some time out because this is only going to get more challenging.”

In the majority of situations our demand has fallen which is assisting us and allowing us to prepare for what could be some challenging weeks later in April and May. Our officers should try and rest and have time away from the front line in preparation of getting ready for what could be a very demanding time – both physically and mentally. In the Federation we are working with the force to support this demand, with PPE provisions, guidance on procedures and importantly the welfare of Officers and their families.

An area of concern moving forward will be the safeguarding of vulnerable people in domestic situations and the protection of those that most need it. The need to work with partners and communities in protecting these people will be key over the next few months. The Officers and Staff from Avon and Somerset are here to protect these people and will attend when needed. That is one of our priorities.

Finally, thank you to all of the police officers and police staff for all your amazing work during these unprecedented and strange times. It hasn’t been easy on anyone, but I know as a force we will all stand shoulder-to-shoulder and rise to whatever challenges face us.

Also, let us not forget the amazing work the NHS has been doing in treating patients and all the other key workers including teachers and shop assistants. They are, all of them, trying to making our lives as normal as they possibly can be right now.