Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh

Rest days are being cancelled and officers are working overtime as Avon and Somerset Police force feels the impact of the pandemic, a chief constable has said.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh says that there are currently 82 officers off work due to Coronavirus and another 47 could be infected.

“We’re tiring them out and we’ve heard that many are sick,” he said.

Mr Marsh says he is also considering a request for officers to drive ambulances to support health services.

Speaking to Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens during a public online chat, Mr Marsh said: “Many people are making sacrifices. Most people can now say this pandemic has touched their lives in some way.”

“Eighty-two colleagues in Avon and Somerset are currently sick with Covid. We’ve had colleagues in hospital sick with Covid. Forty-seven have suspected Covid.”

Avon and Somerset Police employ around 6,000 paid staff, boosted by 350 special constables.

“They’re on cancelled rest days or working overtime and we’re tiring them out and we’ve heard that many are sick,” he added.

Meanwhile, South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) wrote to the region’s police forces last week to appeal for officers to drive emergency vehicles and work alongside crews.

The Chief Constable added that the force had dealt with around 1,500 lockdown breaches during the past week.

 

 
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