Avon and Somerset Police have outlined below the necessary steps they are taking to reassure the public that they are maintaining critical functions.
Avon and Somerset Police changes:
We need to focus on the crimes which matter most to the public and the crimes that pose the
most threat, harm and risk to our society. This will see us changing the way we deal with nonurgent
and lower level offences. The public can be absolutely assured they will still see police
on patrol and we will still be responding to emergencies and high priority incidents in the same
We’ve expanded our Incident Assessment Unit by increasing the number of supervisors and
staff. They will be reviewing and assessing lower priority incidents, both crime and non-crime, to
reduce the number of incidents being attended by our patrol officers. We’re also putting in place
a new triage process to identify incidents which could be dealt with over the phone or led by
Our neighbourhood policing teams remain in place and will be safeguarded to reassure local
communities and to maintain a visible presence but community engagement events, including
our Ride Along scheme, as well as attendance at community meetings have been postponed or
Our enquiry offices and public-facing police posts remain open to the public but this is under
constant review. Measures have been taken to make sure we are following the very latest
health advice. We will update our website with details of any closures, planned or unplanned.
All non-essential training has been cancelled but we’re continuing to deliver essential training to
people joining our organisation to further boost our resilience.
By email only
All officers and staff who are able to work from home have been told to do so with immediate
effect and we have cancelled all face-to-face meetings and moved them onto Skype.
Our public messaging will focus on encouraging people to report non-urgent offences online
instead of through 101. We’re operating our control centre over two sites instead of one to
improve staff resilience.
Officers and staff are being given daily updates with the latest advice and guidance from Public
Health England and the Government. We have a discussion board in operation so officers and
staff can raise issues and concerns.
The Local Resilience Forum chaired by ACC Nikki Watson have declared a major incident in
order to make sure all agencies are able to work together more effectively in the event of
reduced staffing levels and an increase in demand. The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG)
convene via tele-conference every Thursday at 1.15pm.
Public communication updates:
ACC Nikki Watson has done an interview with BBC Points West as part of a news item which
ran earlier this week focussing on the emergency services response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
We will be publishing an external reassurance message on our website and social media
channels outlining the policing response, reassuring the public around police attendance at
incidents and signposting to key information around social distancing, health/mental health
advice and community resilience.