The Chief Constable has praised hundreds of members of the public who have come forward to offer their services to support the county’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Following a call for support last week, more than 580 members of the public have expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer to help support Surrey Police and Sussex Police should resources reduce or additional specific skills and experience are required.
Sussex Police is continuing to plan ahead during this period of dealing with Covid-19 and as such, is creating a database of retired police officers, specials and police staff who may wish to return to policing for a temporary period, and members of the public who may have specific skills that would be of use.
Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York said: “We would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer.
“We were delighted with the response we received and believe it demonstrates the great sense of community here in Sussex, with everyone wanting to pull together and help.
“This is also reflected in how the vast majority of the public are already supporting the force’s work by adhering to the government guidelines to stay indoors, to only travel when essential and to observe safe social distancing.”
As the situation progresses over the next few weeks, Sussex Police will continue to monitor its resourcing levels and assess the potential demand for additional roles. If it is felt a person’s particular skills can be utilised, Sussex Police will make contact with them.
CC Giles York added: “We will endeavour to update all those who have expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer, but due to the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of the situation and the volume of expressions we have received, this may not always be possible.
“We ask people to please bear with us and know that even if we don’t respond to you immediately, we are incredibly grateful to you for expressing an interest in supporting Sussex Police.”
Sussex Police continues to engage with members of the public and explain the importance of following the government guidance, to protect public health and the NHS.
CC Giles York said: “We are encouraging people to comply with the government guidance but if faced with non-compliance we will, if necessary and proportionate, follow up with enforcement action as set out in the new legislation.
“Sussex Police has a strong relationship with our communities and I know my officers will be using their skills and powers in a way that maintains public support. I have received many messages of support from community leaders and the public and am pleased to pass them onto officers who are taking personal risks to protect the NHS, they really make a difference.
“We would also like to reassure the public that although we are putting these contingency plans in place, we are still in a position to respond to emergencies and carry out the normal day-to-day policing expected of us, to keep the public and our communities safe.”