3 April 2020
Mark Andrews, Chairman of Wiltshire Police Federation, has highlighted his worries about Wiltshire Police officers having sufficient protective equipment - masks, gloves and hand sanitiser – to keep them safe from the dangers of Covid-19.
Mark said: “Police officers are being asked to encourage and if necessary enforce social distancing - to try and save lives. Within that we need to ensure that our health and safety are also being adequately cared for.
“I think we have all seen in the news there appears to be a shortage of effective personal protection equipment (PPE) for emergency service workers.
“The emphasis at the moment is on our NHS who are working so hard for us and it is only right they are looked after. However I have concerns about the police officers I represent in Wiltshire as the longer this crisis continues our stocks of PPE will dwindle.
“This will leave us unable to maintain our own safety whilst continuing to help the community and deal with criminals who would do us harm.”
Mark added: “I fully understand that demands on national stocks are high and logistic chains can be difficult but it is important the police and those other agencies working in the community are not forgotten about. And the central Government ensures they deliver on their pledge to give us the tools we need to do our job.
“I am reassured by the many meetings I attend that Wiltshire Police managers are working hard to secure a consistent supply of PPE and their efforts should be commended but the Government needs to remove any hurdles to allow this to happen.
“We are here and will continue to be here to protect the public - but I would ask those who can make a difference to supply appropriate PPE in sufficient numbers to protect the protectors.”