Coronavirus

We are still facing unprecedented and changing times and must continue to work together to respond to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The circumstances we continue to face will allow us the opportunity to be the best we can be, to support our neighbours and communities, and fight this health battle. The PCC strongly encourages everyone to keep following the advice from Government to protect yourselves and others and to keep your families safe and well.

We have collected here a range of information and resources that will help you.

 

Government and PHE advice

What you need to do

Remember the Hands – Face – Space principle:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces (shops, public buildings, public transport)
  • Keep 2 metres apart where possible.

Detailed government guidance and information

 

From 2 December, new tiering restrictions came into effect.  Currently, Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton are Tier 2 High, and the Isle of Wight is Tier 1 Medium.

The government has produced a series of posters which explain the tier restrictions in England. Information about the tiers is available in a range of languages.

Each local government area also has specific advice about what the tiers mean for their residents and businesses:

 

NHS information

Protect yourself and others
What to do if you think you have symptoms
Easy read information leaflets
Leaflet for children

 

Other

Financial support

Guidance for Gypsies and Travellers

Some Gypsies and Travellers, especially those living in caravans, vehicles and canal boats, are likely to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Social distancing or self-isolation can be particularly challenging for members of these communities, which is why Government have published specific public health guidance to help those leading a nomadic way of life.

Guidance for those leading a nomadic way of life

Government and PHE advice in other languages

Information about the new tier system is available in a range of languages.

 

The organisation Doctors of the World, in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice, has produced written translations of key Government advice in 60 languages.

The advice is also available in video format in 10 languages.

More resources

Thank you to the National Autism Society for these visual aids about social distancing.

 

Staying safe from fraud and scams

Coronavirus Scams Warning

 

NHS Test and Trace scams

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

 

Other things to beware of

  • Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.
  • Home cleaning services.
  • People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal and bank details.
  • There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to take your money.
  • There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
  • People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.

Doorstep fraud

Groups are setting up all over the county to offer support to people who are isolating. Whilst in the vast majority of these cases, the individuals will be well intentioned, there may be some who see this as an opportunity for their own criminal gain.

People carrying out shopping on behalf of you, or a loved one, will at some point need to be paid. If you give them cash, how do you know they will come back with the goods? If you give them your bank cards, they have access to all of your funds.

  • Stop – never do anything you don’t want to or make any decisions on the spot.
  • Check – Check for ID but remember most of these are community volunteers so wouldn’t necessarily have ID. There is no way of knowing whether they are legitimate.
  • Ask – Ask someone you trust for a second opinion, or ask them if they can provide the support you need.
  • Mine – If they ask for your card or your pin, remember this is very personal information which should not be shared.
  • Share – If you come across a scam, share your experience with others if possible to prevent them from being scammed.

Doorstep fraud is a crime. It happens to a wide range of people with all sorts of backgrounds. Please report it if it happens to you.

Advice for businesses

If you have re-opened your business or are planning to do so, please consider steps to keep your business safe and secure, especially now that additional measures to observe social distancing also have to be taken into account.

Download a bulletin with useful guidance here.

 

If you are keeping your premises closed, it’s important for you to review your security measures to reduce the chances of them being targeted by criminals.

Secured by Design, the Police Digital Security Centre, and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office have put together a number of tips to help you keep your business and your premises safe during this time.

Top 10 security tips for closed business premises

Top 10 cyber security tips for working from home

 

Supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse

The Government has put together a Domestic Abuse Guide for Employers to help them support members of staff who are or may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Services for victims of crime

The Victim Care Service provides support for victims of crime to cope with, and recover from, the harmful effects of the crime they have experienced. The service is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner and provided by Victim Support.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has required the Victim Care Service to make changes in line with Government and Public Health England advice to protect the safety of staff, volunteers, service users and the public.

While the VCS is no longer able to offer face-to-face meetings at this time and users will no longer be able to ‘drop in’ to any office locations, there is still help available over the phone.

  • The VCS can now be contacted for self-referrals and queries from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday on 0808 178 1641.
  • Any calls to the service made within 8am-9am and 5pm-8pm Mon-Fri and 8am-8pm Saturday will be diverted to Victim Support’s national support line, so the call will still be answered.
  • Self-referrals can still be made via the Victim Care Service website, the Victim Support website or the Live Chat facility.

The Victim Care Service leaflet can be downloaded here.

The Victim Care Service is open to all victims no matter what the type of crime, regardless of whether the crime has been reported to the police or not, and no matter how recently or how long ago the crime took place.

Support for victims of domestic abuse

We know that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will have a serious impact on the lives of women, children and men who are experiencing domestic abuse. Fears over jobs, financial pressure, school closures, working from home and all the other current changes to our day to day lives are likely to result in an increase in domestic abuse incidents.

The restrictions put in place while the government tries to slow the spread of the virus can leave those already living with domestic abuse fearful of being isolated in the house with their abuser and as if there is nowhere to go for help.

Please remember that you can still call 999 if you or someone else is in danger.

While some domestic abuse support services are not able to offer face to face meetings at this time, there is still help and advice available online and over the phone. These local and national organisations are working hard to ensure they can still support you.

  • Victim Care Service (Hampshire and Isle of Wight) – 0808 178 1641
  • Hampshire Domestic Abuse Service – 03300 165112
  • Stop Domestic Abuse (Portsmouth) – 023 9206 5494
  • Aurora New Dawn – 023 9421 6816
  • Yellow Door (Southampton) – 023 8063 6313
  • PIPPA (Southampton) – 023 8091 7917
  • You Trust (Isle of Wight) – 0800 234 6266
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
  • Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
  • National LBGT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
  • If you’re a child or young person and domestic abuse is happening in your home or relationship, then call Childline on 0800 1111.

 

If you are concerned that your behavior may be causing harm 

  • Hampton Trust  02380 009898

Supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse

The Government has put together a Domestic Abuse Guide for Employers to help them support members of staff who are or may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Support for people experiencing poor mental health

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis and need urgent mental health support, call 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk and speak to the NHS Mental Health Triage Service.

The NHS 111 Mental Health Triage Service provides advice, support and guidance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for anyone living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Advisers have a wide range of skills, including on the phone brief psychological support, and have access to key services and organisations that can offer mental health support to people in their time of need.

This service can also be also used by GPs and other healthcare professionals, the emergency services, mental health charities and any other organisations that come into contact with people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Mental Health Triage Service can be accessed by phone by dialling 111 and online at www.111.nhs.uk.

If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 999.

Local community support

COUNTY AND UNITARY AUTHORITIES

Hampshire

The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline is available to provide information and advice, as well as practical support to frail or vulnerable Hampshire residents, and can be contacted on 0333 370 4000.

The helpline is available 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm, and is for vulnerable people who do not have support from families, friends or their local community, and who need urgent assistance with practical issues.

 

Isle of Wight

A helpline has been set up to support the most vulnerable residents affected by coronavirus self-isolation measures. You can call 01983 823 600 between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week.

 

Portsmouth

If you need information or advice about services in Portsmouth, or you need some additional help because you are unable to go out because of coronavirus, you’ll find all the latest information on their website, including details of which services are closed.

For anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet there is a phone line available – 023 9268 8004 with a recorded message with all the latest information. People can also call this number if they need additional support, such as with getting shopping or prescriptions.

Southampton

Southampton City Council have launched a Community Support Hub to ensure access to support for vulnerable people. The service will prioritise those in critical need who have received a letter from NHS England stating they are in a priority group and are unable to rely on family or friends for adequate practical support.

Please call them on 023 8083 4800, or visit their ‘I need help’ page to contact them via webchat or fill in the online form.

 

DISTRICT AND BOROUGH AUTHORITIES

Not all district and borough authorities have organised local support, but those that have are listed here.  If your local authority is not listed here, please use the Hampshire County Council support line above.

Eastleigh

Fareham

Gosport

Test Valley

 

Volunteering

Basingstoke: If you would like to volunteer, are thinking about starting a group in your area or have already done so, please visit www.bvaction.org.uk/coronavirus-volunteering or call 01256 423852 to register your group and find contact details for accessing guidance and support.

East Hampshire: The work to support the community’s most vulnerable people is being co-ordinated through East Hampshire District Council and local voluntary groups. If you would like to volunteer to help during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the Volunteer Wessex website.

Gosport: Gosport Voluntary Action and Gosport Borough Council are working together to co-ordinate a community response to COVID-19.  If you would like to volunteer or are an organisation that can offer support or services, please visit www.gva.org.uk/coronavirus.

Hart: Hart District Council, Hart Voluntary Action and Hampshire County Council are working together to co-ordinate efforts across our area to organise volunteers for those who need help.  Applications are being processed and the online application is currently suspended.

Havant: If you would like to volunteer to help during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the Volunteer Wessex website.

Rushmoor: If you would like to volunteer locally, you can register your details on the Rushmoor Voluntary Services website.

Winchester: Community First is the Council for Voluntary Service and is matching volunteers with organisations that need assistance. Register using the volunteering website.

How to help other people safely

New police powers

On 9 September, the government announced upcoming changes to simplify restrictions and ensure the virus is controlled. These new restrictions took effect from 14 September. They are set out in the law, and the police and other enforcement officers are able to issue penalties to those that don’t comply.  These regulations expire after 6 months.

No person may participate in a gathering which consists of more than six persons either indoors or outdoors.  This includes:

  • in a private dwelling, houseboat, or vessel
  • on public outdoor land, including beaches, the street, parks etc. (excluding visitor attractions)

A gathering may be permitted where it is reasonably necessary:

  • for work purposes
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation.

Gatherings at premises other than private dwellings are permitted if the gathering takes place on or at premises which are operated by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body.

Gatherings in public outdoor spaces are permitted if organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, a public body, or a political body, and the gathering organiser has taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, taking into account the risk assessment and any relevant government guidance.

Detailed government guidance and information

 

Engage, explain, encourage and enforce

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to reassure members of the public that “policing’s first action will be to engage, explain and encourage those creating risk to return home, obey social distancing and not to congregate. Ultimately if this does not create the right response, the additional powers are welcome options to have.”

Police officers have been engaging with the public and explaining that following the regulations helps to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives. The efforts of the public mean police officers have rarely had to enforce the Government regulations. They are confident the vast majority will continue to do their bit and follow guidance in this next stage.

Personal responsibility is now key – for those who are able to leave their homes as a result of the changes, think carefully about where you are going and how you will be able to keep your distance from others. Keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.

They enforce the law and not government guidance, so have no role in enforcing social distancing, wearing of masks or avoiding public transport.

Police still have a role where people are gathering in large groups with those not in their household as this is not legally permitted in the regulations.

The police will apply the law in a system that is flexible, discretionary and pragmatic. This will enable officers to make sensible decisions and employ their judgement. Enforcement should be a last resort.

If members of the public do not comply the police may:

  • instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse
  • ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking these rules
  • issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 for gathering with more than six people (exceptions apply)
  • issue a fixed penalty notice of £10,000 for the offence of organising or facilitating a gathering with more than 30 people.
Accessing police services

If you need to get in touch with the police, there are lots of options.

Leaflet

Hampshire Constabulary have produced this leaflet, which provides contact details for various support organisations.  It’s also available in black and white to be easily printed.

Online

Hampshire Constabulary’s website allows you to access lots of services, including reporting crimes. If you can do this, it keeps other resources free for those in need, or who can’t get online.

By email

If you need to speak to your local policing team, please email them in the first instance.  You can look up your local team via the police.uk website, and their page includes the email address you need.

By telephone

If you can’t get online or email, you can contact Hampshire Constabulary using the 101 non-emergency line.  Only call 999 in an emergency when there is immediate danger to life or a crime in progress.

In person

You can speak to the police at a front counter location at one of the four Police Investigation Centre locations: Southampton, Basingstoke, Portsmouth, or Newport. Please do not come to a police location if you have symptoms of the coronavirus, or if you suspect you have been in contact with someone else who may have the virus.

Travel advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office still advises against’all but essential’ international travel, with a number of low-risk destinations exempt from this advice. Make sure you are familiar with the guidance in relation to your chosen destination before you travel.

Government travel advice

Countries and territories exempt from ‘all but essential’ guidance

Neighbourhood Crime Maps

Find out what’s happening in your neighbourhood, meet your local policing team and how to contact them. Explore the crime map to see what has happened and the policing outcomes for each crime.

Neighbourhood Watch

Find a Watch scheme in your community, and apply to join or send a message to the scheme coordinator. Neighbourhood Watch provides a way for local people to play an important part in making their communities safer.

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