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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

'Brilliant' Officers Praised For 'Dedication, Imagination And Inspiration' During Pandemic

21 April 2021

The independent inspectorate of policing has commended police officers, staff and volunteers for their “exceptional dedication and commitment” to keeping people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Services (HMICFRS) says the police service responded with “dedication and commitment” to the challenge of policing the pandemic.

Inspectors said: “Policing demonstrated its capacity for responding in an emergency.” They added that officers took “immediate and decisive” action to respond to the extreme circumstances of the pandemic.

Inspectors found that the fast-paced introduction and subsequent changes to new legislation affected some forces’ ability to produce timely and clear guidance for police officers and staff, which created difficulties for officers on the frontline.

The inspectorate acknowledged the criticism some forces faced for their interpretation of lockdown restrictions, stating they were “assured that police forces had learnt from these instances” and in general “did well” to maintain public trust.

Andy Berry, Chairman of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said: “I’m very pleased that the Inspectorate have confirmed what we already knew or suspected.

“I have previously highlighted the challenges which were provided by the rapidly changing guidance and laws often not arriving with the police until after national announcements had been made.

“But I can reflect back and see not only what a brilliant job officers did to engage with the public during the pandemic but also how the dedication, imagination and inspiration of many of my members helped the force rapidly adapt to all the challenges thrown at it.”

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr, commented: “Overall, the police rose to the challenge with dedication and commitment by taking immediate and decisive action to keep people safe and prevent crime, while also learning lessons from the rare occasions that they got it wrong.”

The HMICFRS report is based on an inspection of policing between March and November 2020. See it in full here: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/news/news-feed/police-generally-responded-well-to-exceptional-circumstances-of-pandemic/