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‘Next six months are going to be much tougher for us’ - stark warning from chief constable

PUBLISHED: 10:40 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:40 06 October 2020

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary Picture: Submitted

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary Picture: Submitted

Submitted

Norfolk’s chief constable has warned the next six months dealing with the coronavirus outbreak are likely to be “tougher for us all”.

Norfolk's chief constable has warned about the impact of the next six months. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNorfolk's chief constable has warned about the impact of the next six months. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Simon Bailey has praised the people of Norfolk for how they have responded to the difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 virus but he admits he is concerned about the impact the next phase of the virus will have on us all with summer now making way for the longer, darker evenings of winter.

Mr Bailey said: “I think we’re heading into what is going to be a far more challenging period than the first phase of the Covid virus.

“I think the really beautiful summer we’ve had has helped no end and the communities of Norfolk have, by and large, behaved impeccably in terms of respecting the lockdown, for respecting the commitment to save lives and the NHS and as a result the county has fared really quite well.”

But Mr Bailey said he expected the end of furlough schemes, rising unemployment, the addition of further restrictions, including the rule of six and pubs and bars now having to close at 10pm, to all have a cumulative impact on the difficulties brought about by this next phase.

Norfolk's chief constable has warned about the impact of the next six months.  Picture: Chris BishopNorfolk's chief constable has warned about the impact of the next six months. Picture: Chris Bishop

He said: “I believe the next six months are actually going to be tougher for us all.

“I believe it’s going to be a real challenge for us all, both professionally and personally.”

In particular Mr Bailey said he was “really concerned” about those less fortunate in our society who “struggle to put food on the table” and how they would be affected.

He is also worried about victims of domestic abuse and child abuse has urged them to come forward to get the help they need.

Police at coronavirus protest at Haymarket in Norwich. Picture: Taylor BrammerPolice at coronavirus protest at Haymarket in Norwich. Picture: Taylor Brammer

He has urged people to do their big to help look after each other as the county had done so ably in the first six months of the crisis.

Last month Norfolk Police handed out its first £10,000 fixed penalty notice to a woman who was arrested as part of a demonstration held in Norwich against coronavirus restrictions.

But Mr Bailey said officers would continue to engage, educate and encourage in terms of they police the virus with enforcement remaining a “last resort”.

He said police would not be looking to enforce situations where there were seven or eight people at a dinner party and insisted officers would only be looking to punish “flagrant breaches” of the rules.


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