Coronavirus: 'Refocus' for Norfolk Police as community engagement activities scaled back
Police-organised community engagement activities, such as visits to care homes and street surgeries, are to be scaled back to "manage the demands" of coronavirus.
Norfolk Constabulary says it is introducing a "new approach to business as usual" as "unprecedented circumstances test" them over the coming weeks and months.
Public Enquiry Offices across the area, including at Lynn Police Station, will be operating at a reduced service, opening between midday and 2pm between Monday and Saturday. The offices will remain closed as usual on Sundays.
A Norfolk Police spokesperson said: "Norfolk Constabulary is stepping up to refocus the force and best protect our communities whilst also managing the demands of Covid-19 in line with our policing priorities."
They added: "Norfolk Police is introducing a new approach to business as usual which will evolve as circumstances change but will ensure we focus on the issues that are concerning our communities.
"Whilst public engagement is extremely important to us, our focus is firmly on front-line policing and those crimes which cause most harm, therefore any community engagement activity or national initiative that is not in support of multi-agency efforts for Covid-19 will stop – this includes visits to care homes and schools, SNAP meetings and street surgeries."
A telephone number will be displayed at each office with a direct line to staff so during normal opening hours people will not have to use the yellow phone or call 101 to get through to staff on the front desk.
The yellow phone on the outside of the building which will connect callers to the Contact and Control Room. However, with the current focus on hygiene and social distancing, police are urging people to only use these phones in an emergency.
Instead, they are encouraging people to report non-urgent crimes or concerns via online reporting at www.norfolk.police.uk, and to only dial 999 in an emergency, or if you believe a crime to be in progress.
Non-urgent crimes can be reported via 101 but where possible police are encouraging the public to report matters via our website.
Norfolk Police also regularly update their social media accounts with the latest news, general advice and guidance on a number of issues, including personal safety, fraud and home security. You can find them on Facebook or Twitter @NorfolkPolice.
Chief Superintendent Dave Marshall, County Policing Commander, said: "We will all have to make some difficult decisions every day and whilst public engagement is extremely important to us, by changing our approach now we are aiming to ensure we protect the most vulnerable at this complex and continually changing time.”
More by this authorRebekah Chilvers