11 July 2020
PFEW National Vice-Chair Che Donald has urged police officers to wear face coverings to halt the spread of coronavirus.
It comes after 600,000 of the masks were distributed to forces, along with guidance that officers should be wearing these - or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) masks - where possible, to protect colleagues and set an example to the public.
Mr Donald said: "Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect the wearer, but if you're infected without knowing it, or asymptomatic, this can help prevent the spread of the virus if you cough in proximity to colleagues. The danger is, as the pubs reopen and the shops, a complacency can creep in that the virus has gone away - it hasn't. It's important that all of us continue to follow the guidance."
He also urged officers to continue to social distance where possible, wash hands and wipe down keyboards before and after use to prevent transmission of disease.
Earlier this week, Lancashire Chief Constable Andy Rhodes, recorded a video, demonstrating the face covering. He said: "Wearing a face covering on public transport and in clinical settings is now mandatory. We are here to keep ourselves safe and our colleagues safe and also our families. If you are contacted by the Test Track and Trace system, they will take into account whether you have been wearing things like PPE and face coverings and it may well mean because you have been wearing these that you don't have to isolate for 14 days."
Superintendent Hannah Wheeler, National Police PPE lead has written a blog for the Federation to explain how the PFEW National Uniform Working Group played a pivotal role in getting face coverings to the frontlines. In it, she writes, "It took just 5 weeks from me tasking the National Uniform Working Group to the new face coverings being in the hands of officers. It was an incredible effort – proving the power of collaboration and problem-solving (even when working remotely!)".