Flood of retired Norfolk police officers offer services in wake of coronavirus

Police officers patrolling Norwich city centre. Picture: Nick Butcher

Police officers patrolling Norwich city centre. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Norfolk Police has had a flood of responses from former police officers wanting to help in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, it has emerged.

Prime minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation as he placed the UK on lockdown as the government

Prime minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation as he placed the UK on lockdown as the government seeks to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo credit should read: PA Video/PA Wire - Credit: PA

According to Home Office data there are 22,466 officers in England and Wales who left service through “normal retirement” over the past five years.

The figures, which excludes those who left on medical grounds, resigned, transferred or were dismissed, show a total of 278 officers retired from Norfolk Police in that time with 218 officers leaving Suffolk Constabulary.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said it was working with the government to facilitate the return of recently retired officers, depending on “local needs” following the outbreak.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said the force was “actively looking at all options” but has already had a positive response.

The spokesman said: “We’ve had lots of response from retired officers, offering support.


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“The force have volunteers and we have a great history of people wanting to help. People are coming forward and the public would expect them to feature in all our contingency planning.

“We will be making contact with people in the near future to confirm local plans”.

It comes as chief constable Simon Bailey urged the public to follow the government’s advice about staying indoors to relieve pressure on the NHS and stop people dying.

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The NPCC is encouraging those who feel they could return to contact their former force and said officers whose training was still in date would not need to do it again.

Former officers will be vetted before being allowed back into service, but this could be fast-tracked for those who left within the past year.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the NPCC, said: “Police officers are not immune to the coronavirus and so we have been extensively planning for how we will maintain critical policing for the public with significant numbers of officers and staff off sick.

“The home secretary’s package of measures for those returning to policing and the support of our special constables will boost our resources as we come under increasing pressure – it is hugely welcomed.”

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