The majority of police enquiry offices across the force area have been closed in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Four of them will remain open seven days a week, but should only be used if absolutely essential. Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating should follow Government advice and stay at home and report matters for the police through our website instead.
The four in operation from 8am-8pm (weekdays) and 9am-5pm (weekends) are:
- Bridewell Police Station, Bristol
- Patchway Police Centre, South Gloucestershire
- Bridgwater Police Centre, Somerset
- Yeovil Police Station, Somerset
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “This has not been an easy decision to make but has been made in accordance with the Government’s announcement on Monday that people should remain at home unless absolutely necessary to reduce the spread of this virus. The decision will remain under constant review.
“By temporarily reducing the number of enquiry desks open it will allow us best maximise the resources available to the force at what is critical time for policing.
“We remain committed to providing a visible police presence in all our communities, and any enquiries that would traditionally have been handled face-to-face will be conducted online through our website, including reporting non-urgent crimes.
“Our website should be your first port of call and we urge people to only use our enquiries desks if absolutely essential. If you do need to, please adhere to the Government’s instructions about social distancing to keep you, our staff and others safe. If you have typical coronavirus symptoms, such as a fever and/or a new persistent cough, then stay at home and do not come to one of our stations.
“And, of course, our call-handlers will be available 24/7 but please only call 999 in a genuine emergency and only call 101 if you are unable to complete an online enquiry.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I know this has been a difficult decision for the police to make because enquiry offices are an important, visible, point of police contact for local people.
“I am assured that careful consideration has been given to this decision in order to balance the needs of the public with maintaining the health of police staff, resilience of the workforce and ensuring we are doing everything to follow the latest restrictions from central government.
“This measure will be under constant review by Avon and Somerset Police. I will liaise closely with Chief Constable Andy Marsh to monitor the numbers of people reporting through the various channels available on an ongoing basis so that we can assess the impact.”
Posted on Thursday 26th March 2020