We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Forces to get quaratine powers to halt coronavirus spread

Police will quarantine people and focus only on serious crime if the coronavirus outbreak worsens.

The official plan launched by the Prime Minister confirmed regulations would be used by police to “allow them to detain and direct individuals in quarantined areas at risk or suspected of having the virus”.

The measure is part of the government’s ‘battle plan’ to deal with the coronavirus if the situation deteriorates.

The guidance confirmed police back office staff will be expected to trigger resilience plans. Forces will move to 12-hour shifts and rely on mutual aid to ensure they retain capability.

It said: “Emergency services, including the police and fire and rescue services will enact business continuity plans to ensure they are able to maintain a level of service that fulfils their critical functions.

“With a significant loss of officers and staff, the police would concentrate on responding to serious crimes and maintaining public order.”

All work will be coordinated through local resilience forums and then fed up to the national government.

The plan is to move work from ‘containment’ to ‘delay’ in the hope that the warmer weather will reduce the impact of the virus.

The guidance said: “The decision to step up the response from Contain to Delay and then Mitigate will be taken on advice from the UK's Chief Medical Officers, taking in to account the degree of sustained transmission and evident failure of measures in other countries to reduce spread.”

Health officials have advised the outbreak will peak within three months and could affect up to 80% of the population.

Four more cases have been confirmed bringing the UK total to 40 people who have contracted the virus.

COVID-19, the designation of the virus, is of the same type as the viruses that cause common cold and other more severe illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The Prime Minister said: “We have agreed a plan so that if and when it starts to spread, as I’m afraid it looks likely it will, we are in a position to take the steps necessary to contain the spread of the disease as far as we can, and to protect the most vulnerable.”

The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control has raised its risk from moderate to high for people in the European Union.

Police chiefs said they were confident that forces would be able to deliver.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for civil contingencies, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton, said: “While we are not anticipating a worst-case scenario, we are preparing for it, as the public would want us to do.

“If required, we have tried and tested plans that ensure continuity of policing during times of capacity issues or increased demand. These plans can include moving officers around the country, changing shift patterns and the use of the Special Constabulary." 

He added:  “I’m confident the police service is in a strong position to support the UK’s response to Covid-19.  This is a rapidly developing situation and we continue to take a lead from the Government and Public Health England.”

The government has yet to decide if local elections in May will be delayed. This will require new legislation covering the election of 40 Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has told the 40 PCCs involved that Home Office lawyers are working out what will happen next.

Chief Executive, Susannah Hancock, said; “We have had a number of inquiries regarding the PCC elections, coronavirus and whether the May PCC and local elections will take place.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 3
In Other News
Retired officers face call-up as part of contingency plans
Police review communications as COVID-19 plan changes
Sergeant exams will go ahead as planned CoP says
PCC elections delayed due to COVID-19 as contingency plans reviewed
PCCs elections on hold if coronavirus spreads
Police forces ready response for coronavirus civil contingency
Staffordshire quarantines two PCs and a PCSO over coronavirus fears
More News