Police’s strategy to cope with coronavirus

Police’s strategy to cope with coronavirus

By Gareth Dennison | 13/03/2020

Police’s strategy to cope with coronavirus

DETECTIVES could find themselves back in uniform as South Yorkshire Police prepares for up to half its workforce being off because of coronavirus.

But the force is confident of maintaining its core and critical services should Covid-19 take hold in the UK like it has in Italy.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley said there was plenty of equipment such as hand sanitiser for officers and staff during the first response phase of containment.

He added: “There are reserves that give me a level of confidence that we can move through a peak, even akin to Italy.”

The second phase — delay — could see senior officers back on the beat if staff absence rises to considerable levels.

But ACC Hartley said: “I think we are at a point where we’re really capable, with technology, to allow us to protect core services and work remotely.”

The governance set-up was “healthy”, he added, and the force’s pandemic flu response had been recently refreshed.

He said: “If we were to get to 30 to 50 per cent reduction in capacity, we then would see some broader changes. We might see detectives putting the uniform back on.

“Thankfully, the projected peak is that it would be three or four weeks and then would abate after that. We are well prepared.”

Meanwhile, Rotherham Council leader Cllr Chris Read said the authority was also in the planning stage in case of staff shortages.

He added: “Services are looking at their contingency plans for if matters do escalate and what would happen, for example in terms of more staff working from home.”


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