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Surrey Police Federation

Covid-19 Update For Surrey Police Federation Members

15 April 2020

Surrey Police Federation is helping the county’s officers policing the coronavirus crisis with regular wellbeing updates, financial advice and even accommodation assistance when needed. 

Mel Warnes, Chair of Surrey Police Federation, said that the Federation was very proud of colleagues’ hard work and is speaking up for and supporting its members during the ongoing crisis.

Up-to-date information and guidance is available on the Federation website, Twitter and via forums on the force intranet, and members can still call and email the Federation in the normal way.

The Federation has sent a support leaflet to officers who are self-isolating, containing tips and resources for staying mentally healthy and dealing with the stresses and strains of isolation. 

Mel said: “In the support leaflet there are guides to managing anxiety, keeping a routine and what the symptoms of Covid-19 are. There’s also advice on home working and keeping children occupied.” She said that self-isolating officers should continue to link in with their teams. 

She acknowledged that officers might be feeling “financially vulnerable” at the moment, even if they were still earning, as their partner may have lost their income. She was keen to emphasise that the Federation could signpost officers to resources such as the Force Welfare Fund or the Police Credit Union, so that they didn’t resort to expensive payday loans.

The Federation is also helping officers in exceptional circumstances with alternative accommodation.

Mel said: “If officers are unable to be at home because a member of their family is vulnerable, and they don’t have anyone else who can take them in, we have worked with the Force and PFEW in relation to providing emergency accommodation.

“Local Hotels have also offered shelter to officers and staff who are working alongside our members.”

The Federation is dialling into the force’s Golf group meetings seven days a week, to ensure officers’ interests are being represented. Mel said that the force, as well as Chief Officers and the Police and Crime Commissioner, had all been very supportive.

Mel said: “PPE is obviously our daily priority. We’re ensuring that the message around PPE is that we know how much we’ve got in the force, where it’s going and what we’ve got on order, making sure that there isn’t a shortage.”

The Federation was also advising the force and contact centre that officers shouldn’t be risking their health and that of the public by attending non-urgent calls.

Mel concluded: “We have to be mindful of how our brave police officers are putting themselves at risk daily.”