Police chief calls for same spirit as Beast from East

Simon Bailey, chief constable at Norfolk police. Picture: Archant

Simon Bailey, chief constable at Norfolk police. Picture: Archant - Credit: Steve Adams

For the last seven years it has been my privilege to lead, what I believe to be, one of the best police forces in the country and to serve Norfolk to the best of my ability. However, it is safe to say that the challenges of those seven years will not compare to the threat we face and will inevitably experience as we move through our response to the coronavirus outbreak.

We are only now starting to see cases in Norfolk, but there is no doubt in my mind that, as the situation develops in the coming weeks, we are going to face increasing demands and the resources of the constabulary are going to be stretched more so than ever before.

Officers and staff are being issued with protective equipment and have been briefed on how to deal with people who have the virus or are suspected of having it. However, it is extremely likely that some of my colleagues will contract the virus and this could see us operating with reduced numbers and having to stop a range of non-essential work.

We are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading across the constabulary and we are putting in place robust contingency plans to ensure we will be able to maintain our critical responses, but it’s likely that non-essential services will be impacted.

It is clear that our resilience is going to be stretched, but crisis always seems to bring out the best out in us and I know over the coming weeks and months my officers and staff will work hard to maintain law and order and to help our communities come through this.

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I do not under estimate the scale of the task and I know there are going to be some difficult days for us all, which is why it is so important that we work together to meet this head on.

We cannot do this alone, which is why it is crucial we all begin to look after each other and for our communities to come together to care for those less able and vulnerable. I hope the Norfolk spirit we saw during the ‘Beast from the East’ comes to the fore again, if it does communities will become stronger and the vulnerable will be reassured they haven’t been forgotten.

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I am already seeing communities coming together to do just that, acts of kindness making a real difference. The officers and staff of the constabulary understand the importance of this spirit and kindness and through our all our policing teams we will be there for you during the coming weeks and months.

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