17 May 2021
Wiltshire Police Federation has called on the public to enjoy the easing of lockdown restrictions ‘sensibly’ - and says it’s proud of how the county’s officers have dealt with the pandemic.
Hugs, seeing wider friends and family, and dining inside pubs and restaurants are all now back on the agenda as more freedoms are restored following the COVID-19 crisis.
Federation Chairman Mark Andrews - who represents the county’s 1,000 police officers - said he was proud of how colleagues had policed the restrictions enforced on people during the outbreak and how Wiltshire communities had stepped up to follow the rules.
Now the public and officers in their off duty time can enjoy the new freedoms, but it’s essential, he says, that everyone remains committed to adhering to the rules that remain in place.
“Like everyone else, the officers I represent are really looking forward to the relaxation of COVID restrictions,” Mark said.
“We are human too and have missed the close interaction with friends and family, which this further reopening will hopefully bring.
“The last 15 months have been so difficult for so many; losing loved ones, losing jobs, and having restrictions placed on us which would have been unimaginable before this pandemic.
“I have always been impressed with how the communities of Wiltshire have stepped up, supporting each other and complying with the directions to do their bit to keep people safe.
“Our police officers have often been caught between a rock and a hard place having to police the lockdown laws to keep people safe, and without public support and understanding, their job would have been impossible.
“So I would like to thank you on their behalf personally.”
Throughout the crisis, Mark said colleagues had upheld the principles of policing by consent and had gone down the road of engaging and educating first and only enforcing where it was absolutely necessary.
“I know I am not impartial, but I am so proud of how Wiltshire Police Officers have policed the pandemic,” he said.
“They have remained professional throughout, despite concerns for their own and their families safety.
“They have been there supporting the community without fail from the start, and they have upheld the principles of policing with consent by educating and engaging before enforcing by issuing fixed penalty notices.
“As we come out of lockdown and look forward to the full removal of the remaining restrictions soon, I would ask the public to continue to be sensible around safety, comply with the remaining legislation, but most of all enjoy your newfound freedoms