Posted: Monday 23rd March 2020
Today I want to talk to you about the importance of being responsible and compassionate.
Although many of us are taking extra-precautions during this pandemic to keep ourselves safe, I am sure you have seen that over the weekend some people gathered in parks, seaside towns or even had house parties - despite advice from central government.
I cannot stress enough how vital it is that we observe social distancing. Social distancing might feel strange and, undeniably, we have had to make changes to our everyday lives but these changes will help lessen the impact of the virus and protect those who are more vulnerable.
It is at times like these that we must not be complacent. While frontline health staff are looking after sick people, seeing an increase in deaths and experts across the globe continue to work hard to find treatment solutions, we must do everything we can to slow the spread and reduce its impact.
Vulnerability is not always visible and we cannot assume that someone is not at risk just because they are young or fit. If we continue to visit others and head out unnecessarily, we could be spreading the virus unknowingly to anyone and prolonging the length of time that we will have to continue to have these life-altering restrictions in place.
For those of you who are fit and healthy or do not think you are vulnerable, please take these precautions for the safety of others. If you have friends who are considering heading to the park, or socialising have the courage to be the voice of reason and take a moment to think about those who might suffer as a result. We need to be responsible and show compassion to others during these challenging times.
If people continue to ignore advice from central government, it’s possible that the police service will be directed by the Prime Minister to use new and additional police powers currently being put in place to take a stronger approach to enforcing current restrictions. I would urge everyone to be responsible so that police services aren’t in the position where they have to take this course of action. We must all work together to adapt to these changing circumstances and support each other as everyday life continues to change in the coming weeks. If you do need to venture out for food, work or medical supplies, follow government advice and keep a social distance between others.
By working together we can ensure that our country is in the best possible position to deal with this global pandemic. My office is working in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police and other local public service agencies to ensure that we are in the best position to respond to the virus. Chief Constable Andy Marsh and I are committed to be open with our communities and I will continue to regularly update you.
We will be holding a Facebook live this week where I will put local people’s questions and concerns to the Chief Constable regarding coronavirus and policing.
Thank you for your continued support and remember to stay at home and save lives.