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Chiefs move to reassure Ukraine communities and officers

Chiefs have issued messages of support to Ukrainian communities in their area and serving officers.

Force leaders have moved to reassure Ukrainian communities in the UK and shared messages of support.

The Home Office is understood to be working on its update to forces but the threat assessment has not been changed.

The current priority is ensuring community tensions are not raised despite the devasting reports coming from the country now subject to Russian invasion.

According to estimates, there are up 70,000 people from the Ukraine living in the UK.

How a global incident now reaches local level was shown by the Metropolitan Police Slavic Police Association which represents Ukrainian-born officers.

It has been sharing on social media some of what is going on through messages from officers' families - and the messages of support it has been receiving from colleagues.

“The level of support shown by all ranks today of the Met Police family is truly outstanding and emotional,” it said.

The national counter terrorism lead, Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes, issued a message of support and has contacted officers with families in the country.

He shared on social media: “London is policed by officers who were born or have their heritage across the world, including Ukraine and Russia - all part of the Metropolitan Police Family."

Directly to the association, he added: "Thoughts are with you and your families."

Lincolnshire, which has a significant Ukrainian population due to the agricultural workforce, also issued a statement of support and reassurance.

Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson said: “News of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been both shocking and saddening for many of us.  I know I speak for the whole of Lincolnshire Police when I say that our hearts are with those who are suffering right now.

“Many people, both in the Force and in our Communities across Lincolnshire, may be feeling the impact of this keenly, especially those who have personal connections through friends or family in Ukraine.”

She added: Our Neighbourhood Police Teams will be in the community and if there are any concerns regarding local tensions please do get in touch.”

At the same time, lawyers in London raised concern over delays in setting up the inquiry in to the Novichok attack in Salisbury.

The official hearing into the attack, which the UK government and Scotland Yard believe the Kremlin was responsible for, has yet to appoint an inquiry Chair.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the victim’s family and Ms Sturgess’s partner Charlie Rowley, said the Russian invasion of Ukraine this week underlined the need to progress with the inquiry without delay.

He told the 30-minute hearing: “As of today, or yesterday, there is a poignancy about what is happening in Ukraine and eastern Europe at the moment, for the necessity of this inquiry not losing a single day.”

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