Posted: Tue 24th Mar 2020

North Wales Chief Constable – “we need our local communities to work with us like never before – by staying at home“

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 24th, 2020

North Wales’ most senior police officer has said local communities need to “work with us” like never before as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The UK is facing an unprecedented challenge in containing the spread of Covid-19 and emergency services will be stretched as the days go on. 

In an update this afternoon, Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said his force remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining public safety, “upholding the law and safeguarding the well-being of our region.”

Mr Foulkes said: “Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night of new measures to save lives and protect our loved ones many of you have questions and are coming to us for the answers. I recognise that this is a worrying time for everybody.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is presenting us with unique challenges but one that we are ready to face.

Rest assured that we have well-rehearsed plans in place to respond to events which could impact on the services we provide and we’re currently taking all the necessary steps to maintain our critical functions.”

The Chief Constable said it is a very fast-moving situation and “we don’t yet have all the details, however we are working with the Government on the detail as they prepare legislation and detailed guidance.”

For the time being I would strongly advise you to look at the UK and Welsh Government websites.

We are working closely with our key partners to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and despite the current climate we are still out there working to keep our communities safe.”

He called on local communities to “work with us like never before – by staying at home.”

“This is an unprecedented situation, and policing will continue to adapt to the ever-changing climate. If we come across people choosing to break these rules which are there to keep all of us safe, we will take action.” He said.

North Wales Police is urging anyone who may be considering visiting North Wales to think again.

“Disappointingly we saw a large influx of visitors to North Wales at the weekend, however with the caravan and camping sites now closed we hope people will continue to adhere to the messages and stay away. We urge anyone who may be considering visiting North Wales to think again.

This is to stop the spread of the virus, limit the impact on our already stretched health and care services – and to ultimately save lives.” Said the Chief Constable

There will be an enhanced policing presence in communities and on the roads over the coming days.

“We continue to work closely with our partners, in particular our colleagues in the health service and we have an experienced Policing Command Team in place who are keeping our operational response and capability under regular review to ensure we undertake our core policing duties.

As always, we continue to encourage people to use our services wisely, for instance using live web chat or email for non-urgent matters rather than via 101.

This ensures call handlers are free to deal with more pressing demands for our service. We have already received several calls with questions that we, as a police service, simply cannot answer.”

There has been a “small number of hate crime cases of a racially aggravated nature involving abuse connected to Coronavirus.

We are also aware that there may be incidents that are not being reported to us.

We take all reports of hate crime seriously and, in order to respond to this, we need to know about it. If you feel you have been targeted please contact us.” Said Mr Foulkes. 

The national Government, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales are leading the response to this quite exceptional public health emergency and I’d encourage everyone to visit their website for all the latest advice and guidance.

It’s at times like this we see the very best of community spirit and partnership working and I’d like to thank all those, including our officers and staff going above and beyond the call of duty, who are working as one to respond to this situation.

I’d also like to express my gratitude and thanks to all of our NHS colleagues across the country, who are working extremely hard to protect our communities.” He added.

Finally, the Chief Constable said,“keep yourselves and you families safe.”

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