Dorset Police thanks communities for their efforts during COVID pandemic

DORSET Police Chief Constable is thanking the county’s communities for all they have done over the last year during the national fight against COVID-19.

On Monday, March 29 the government’s ‘stay at home’ restriction was lifted and people are now allowed to meet others outside, including in gardens, in groups of up to six people or with members of two households. Outdoor sport and leisure facilities can also open.

Under the latest roadmap steps, the public is still being asked to continue to work from home where possible, minimise their journeys and not meet people from another household indoors.

International travel remains banned with potential £5,000 fines for those who breach this restriction.  

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “This week marks the start of a brighter future for so many people in Dorset. We can now meet up with friends and family outside, revisit our favourite places and have a well-earned Easter break from the confines of home. 

“As the current restrictions begin to lift over the coming months, we are asking the public to continue to play their part so that we do not undo all of the good work.

“We will continue our 4Es approach to the new legislation using engagement, education and encouragement to ask members of the public to comply with the regulations. 

“Now that the stay at home restriction has been lifted we expect certain crimes will start to increase locally and nationally. It is important for our communities to know that we will be carrying out high-visibility patrols this spring and summer and that we continue to be here for them.

“While 2020 was a difficult year, it has also shown how our communities rallied together and helped each other. I would like to thank everyone for playing their part in sticking to the restrictions and helping others, whether it has been collecting groceries, making trips to hospital or doctor appointments, volunteering at vaccination sites or checking on neighbours – you have made a real difference.” 

The force has been lucky to have the support of its own army of volunteers, special constables and cadets.

Since Monday, March 23, 118 special constables have worked more than 31,470 hours and 124 police staff volunteers have dedicated more than 2,666 hours. The force’s cadets have given 310 hours and their 13 leaders 210 hours. 

Chief Constable James Vaughan continued: “I am immensely proud of each and every member of our police family for the commitment they have shown over the last year to continue to protect the public and help keep them safe.

“It is highly likely this summer will be our busiest summer ever. While we welcome the boost it will bring to our economy, we need to ensure that we take proactive measures to manage any rise in demand on our policing service and keep our communities and visitors safe.

“We understand our communities may be feeling nervous about the coming summer months and we are asking everyone to respect each other and protect our environment while enjoying what Dorset has to offer.”

For further advice, please see the COVID-19 FAQs page on the Dorset Police website.

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