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Humberside Police Will Have Necessary Coronavirus Resources

Humberside Police Will Have Necessary Coronavirus Resources

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Joe Gerrard at 4:49pm 17th March 2020.

Humberside Police will have all the resources and funding they need to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the force’s Police Commissioner said. 

Keith Hunter said he was slightly “surprised” the government did not have emergency legislation “ready to go” in the event of a pandemic. 

Laws have been drafted, but are yet to be passed.

It comes as public services in Bridlington, the East Riding and across the country have begun to implement contingency pandemic contingency plans as the virus continues to spread.

Mr Hunter said money would not be an issue. He added he was prepared to tap into reserve funds to make sure the police could continue to function in a “unique” situation.

He added the police had plans covering a range of scenarios, including making sure law and order is not disrupted.

Mr Hunter said:

“I’ve been in and around the police for 39 years and I’ve never known anything like this. We’re operating in a blind spot.

We’re looking at making sure we can deliver both internally and externally and where the police might need to step in on the ground. But that’s a long way down the line.

The response is a public health response at the moment.

The police have plans in place to make sure its dealings with the public and upholding law and order are not disrupted.

There is no way that everyone in the force could get ill all at once. So the public should not be put at risk if the virus affects officers and staff.”

The commissioner told the Police and Crime Panel the force was aiming to the mixing of staff to a minimum to stop the virus spreading within its own ranks.

But the force is not yet deep cleaning vehicles and offices, Mr Hunter added.

The commissioner said he was “a little surprised” the government did not already have legislation ready to go for a pandemic situation.

Mr Hunter said:

“The government plans for wars and terrorism, but there is no legislation covering this situation.

The reality is that guidance from government isn’t particularly clear.”

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance unveiled the latest government advice on Monday.

Recommendations included working from home, avoiding visits to pubs and restaurants and self-isolation for the elderly and most vulnerable.

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

“The Prime Minister and this Government are committed to keeping the public informed every step of the way about what we’re doing to fight the spread of coronavirus.

At all times we will be led by the science. Preparing for the spread of the coronavirus outbreak is a national priority.”

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