“Please follow government advice,” urges Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
Date published: 24 March 2020
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has urged people to listen to government advice amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, he said: “This is a difficult period and one that everyone has to adapt to and make huge changes to ensure we limit the spread of this virus. I wanted to thank you all for your continued support of the ongoing changes we as a force are experiencing and we are extremely grateful to the increasing number of people who are using the Live Chat and online crime recording facilities through our website instead of calling when reporting non-emergency incidents.
“This is giving us the capacity to focus on emergencies and serious crime, but also allowing us to start visibly patrolling supermarkets and pharmacies to provide reassurance.
“We have a plan to maintain our service and our technology in allowing us to use video conferencing, and for officers to perform functions away from police station in communities. We have split teams and have spread the workforce across different sites to implement social distancing across the workplace. This will increase our chances of stopping this virus hitting a peak and will limit the number of workers across one team going off sick at any one time. That said, in line with other organisations we are still seeing large numbers of staff having to self-isolate, reducing our workforce by about 10% currently.
“Officers are still responding to your calls and will attend all incidents where required. What I ask of you is to only call when necessary and to please continue to use our Live Chat and online crime recording facilities on our website to report any non-emergency crimes.
“Social distancing is vital and what I ask of you is to listen to Government advice of leaving two metres between you and anyone else. Please follow this advice, if not for yourself, for others who are more vulnerable. They could have underlying conditions that are not visible and you could be putting their life at risk.
“Friday’s announcement of the closure of all cafes, pubs, restaurants and gyms will have come as no surprise to some, but I know this will be frustrating for others. Please follow the advice of closing and staying away as this decision has been made with the best interests of everyone. It’s imperative that we do this to help prevent the spread of this virus. Sadly this weekend saw too many people out using public spaces and some licensed premises.
“If you’ve not noticed a change in your way of life then you’ve not done enough to stop the spread. This will have an impact on everyone, but the more we do now, the less impact this will have on us all long-term. Don’t go out unless it is necessary and reduce your social interaction with others.
“I wanted to personally thank everyone who has supported us as a police force, in particular the schools allowing our children to continue to attend while so that we can support you. I have emphasised to my colleagues to only use this facility when absolutely necessary.
“The power is in our hands to stop this virus spreading, please do what’s right and make a change in your life. Please social distance yourself from others by at least two metres and wash your hands for 20 seconds.
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