4 May 2020
It’s now almost seven weeks since I wrote my last chair’s column but, surprisingly given the current crisis, it doesn’t seem that it was that long ago.
However, a look at the latest Government statistics shows the grim reality of the spread of coronavirus in that time.
In my last column, written on 19 March, there were 137 reported deaths due to coronavirus and the official number of cases was just under 2,700. Now, as of 3 May, the number of deaths has climbed to almost 28,500.
But, sadly, it has become easier to fixate on the numbers without considering that for each and every individual behind those statistics there will be heartbroken families, friends and colleagues mourning a loss. My heart goes out to them all.
It does seem, however, that we are now over the peak and it would appear the Government is looking at a plan to get us all out of lockdown while obviously determined to keep us safe from a second peak.
Just as the police service has been tasked with encouraging the public to stay at home to uphold the Government’s ‘stay at home’ measures, officers are likely to be heavily involved in helping our communities come out the other side too.
I hope that, however we make the slow return to ‘normal life’, whatever that looks like, we can all hold on to some of the positive impacts of this crisis.
We have witnessed communities pulling together and more visible support for all front-line workers – not just the emergency services.
From a policing perspective, we have seen more appreciation of the risks officers face when going about their daily duties, an acknowledgment that they put their own health and safety on the line to serve the public.
We have experienced some of the benefits of flexible, agile working. And how IT can help with this.
We have regularly seen police officers going the extra mile to support their communities too.
I hope that everyone remembers not just the appalling loss of life due to coronavirus but also the fact that this crisis seems to have helped reignite good old-fashioned community spirit and the public’s appreciation of the emergency services, and other front-line workers.
Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe.