90 days from today is Sun, 13 November 2022

Sussex Police Federation

Federation Coronavirus Plea To Public – Help Us To Keep You And Our Colleagues Safe

7 April 2020

Sussex Police Federation has pleaded with the public to heed Government advice and stay at home so the police can keep the public - and officers themselves – as safe as possible from coronavirus.

Matt Webb, Chairman of Sussex Police Federation, spoke out after significant numbers of people congregated on the county’s beaches and other open spaces as temperatures soared over the weekend, endangering their own lives and those of others.

Officers also broke up house and street parties, and groups of people gathering at beauty spots.

Matt said: “Our members are out on patrol, putting themselves at risk, so they can do their job and keep the public safe. Most people are adhering to the guidelines, but there is a small minority who are not, and our plea to them is to stay at home.

“There are those that ignore social distancing rules. And worse still, there are the appalling few who deliberately put our members at risk. Coughing at them, spitting at them, weaponising Covid-19 and threatening to pass on the virus.

“Police officers are humans – the uniform offers no protection. They are mothers, fathers, partners, sons and daughters. They want to go home at the end of every shift fit and healthy for their families. But they are worried about the danger of Covid-19 to their loved ones and themselves. Just like every member of the public.

“So we say again, help us to help you. And please stay at home, keep yourselves and our colleagues as safe as possible and reduce the pressure on the NHS.”

Officers in Hove extinguished a barbecue lit by two individuals on the beach, using a helmet filled with seawater this weekend. A spokesman for the force said: “The severity of this public health emergency means they will be summonsed to court for breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020.” One of these individuals was symptomatic and should have been self-isolating.

And in Crawley, a woman claiming to have coronavirus “purposefully spat and coughed at” police officers on Sunday night.

Matt added: “These incidents show how potentially dangerous our work can be. I would like to applaud the professionalism and dedication of all those Sussex Police officers working hard to keep people safe.

“Officers do not just fight crime, they also protect life and limb and lockdown rules are designed to do just that - protect people. There is no working from home for the majority of our colleagues. They are doing an excellent job.”