Officers should be praised for their role in the nation’s response to the pandemic, says the chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation.
Liz Groom, speaking as lockdown restrictions further ease today, also put on record her thanks to officers.
“We all know it has been far from easy,” says Liz, “Not only have officers been trying to carry out their usual roles but they have also done so while knowing that they are at risk of contracting the virus and then potentially passing it onto their families, some of whom may be vulnerable.
“In addition, they have had to adapt to changing guidelines and legislation, often at short notice, while also facing criticism in the media, although I think most people in the communities we serve appreciate the difficulties we have been facing.”
Relaxed lockdown restrictions mean people in England can now meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, and indoors in groups of six, or two households, with pubs and restaurants able to serve customers inside. Museums, cinemas and other indoor attractions can also reopen.
Liz was commenting after the Federation’s national chair, John Apter, sent out a message to the public as the lockdown restrictions began to ease.
In an open letter published in the Daily Express, he said: “This has been a very difficult time for many – losing loved ones, losing jobs, and having restrictions placed on us which would have been unimaginable before this pandemic.
“We have all done our best during these past 15 months and collectively our goal has been to save lives and stop the spread of this deadly virus. Police officers have been put in an incredibly difficult position, policing the ever-changing Covid-19 rules and legislation.
“Without your support and understanding, their job would have been impossible. You will have seen a style of policing which has been alien to you. This is also alien to my colleagues.
“We did not join policing to police in the way we’ve had to. But this has been necessary to protect each other and save lives.”
And in a special message of gratitude, John said: “To you, the public, that silent majority who I know support my colleagues, thank you.”