PSA President Paul Griffiths was part of a panel giving evidence to a Home Affairs Select Committee investigating Home Office preparedness for COVID-19. Today, it has published its findings and recommendations, to which Paul has responded:
“I welcomed the opportunity to provide evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee and am pleased that the feedback of our Association has been influential in forming the recommendations.
“It is encouraging to note the Committee’s support of the national policing strategy to use enforcement as a last resort when it comes to COVID-19 legislation, clearly echoing the value and importance we place on the relationship between the Police and the public.
“We have continually called for clear and consistent messaging to our workforce and to the public when it comes to vital areas such as the application of police powers, the use of personal protective equipment and the realities of what constitutes a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home. Considerable progress has been made in addressing the confusion in these areas but we are aware that there is still work to be done, so we will be working with colleagues across the Service, and with communities to further promote these vital messages.
“As we enter the second period of lockdown, some of our most pressing concerns lie in the pressures and risks facing those who are most vulnerable within communities and it is crucial that we reach these people who need our help. The committee has highlighted areas such as domestic abuse and fraud as priority areas and we will be working with partners, our colleagues and our communities to ensure people at risk can reach the support they need, whilst deprived of the safety of their social networks.”