Earlier this week, Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane spoke to local radio station Unity 101 about the police response to Covid-19 and how his office supports Hampshire Constabulary as well as other organisations during the pandemic.
You can listen to the interview below.
In addition to PCC Michael Lane’s comments, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Enzo Riglia provides an update on how the office has been continuing to support partner organisations and local communities:
“Since the beginning of the lockdown period our office has been closed, but staff were able to maintain the service we provide by working from home and continue to do so. Like for so many others this was new for many members of staff. For some this has been difficult so we have also been focussing on wellbeing and supporting them in working remotely, even having zoom walks and virtual coffee breaks.
“We have been working with our commissioned services and grant recipients to understand changing areas of need and increased vulnerabilities; and in addition to our usual commissioning activities have launched our COVID-19 Keeping Communities Safer Fund. The aim of the fund is to provide £500 grants to community initiatives that are helping people stay safe at this time. This is the first of a package of funding measures to support our partners and the vulnerable in our communities at this time.
“The Commissioner is continuing to hold the Chief Constable to account. At the end of March he held his latest COMPASS meeting via video conferencing, scrutinising the police response to Covid-19 on behalf of the public and putting questions from the public to the Chief Constable. The meeting can be watched on our website, and we are currently inviting questions for the next scrutiny meeting on 4 May 2020.
“The Estates Team and Constabulary are working closely to prioritise and resolve critical issues in a combined response to the COVID-19 virus. They are working with contractors and service providers to ensure essential work and services continue, and so they are ready to resume any stopped or reduced work once the lockdown is lifted. In regards to the officer uplift, they are fully engaged with the Constabulary to develop the detailed plans needed for the Estates team to support the new officers.
“Together with Hampshire Constabulary, we have also launched an ongoing survey to find out people’s views on the response to COVID-19. We want to know your views each week so we can build up a better understanding of your thoughts and views change on the police response and how safe you feel as the current situation develops.
“We have been working closely with Hampshire Constabulary, local authorities and other partners as part of the Hampshire and IOW Local Resilience Forum to respond to the changing information needs of the public. On the dedicated COVID-19 information page on our website we have collated essential information for victims of crime, in particular Domestic Abuse, as well as information on police powers, community support groups, and advice on how to stay safe during this time when scams and cyber fraud have increased significantly. We share all of this information on our digital channels, and you can engage with us on Twitter (@HantsPCC) and Facebook (@MichaelLanePCC).
“We continue to be represented on the Local Criminal Justice Board and are liaising with and supporting partners across the system to identify the impacts of the pandemic and how they can continue to deliver and progress criminal justice in their areas albeit in different ways.
“Our Youth Commission members have been focusing on sharing advice in particular for young people and continue to canvass their peers’ opinion on issues such as serious violence, exploitation and knife crime as part of their Big Conversation 2020, and our Cyber Ambassadors have put together activities around internet safety that parents can do with their children at home as part of their home learning.”