The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put the country on virtual lockdown this week when the British PM announced that people should avoid all essential travel and contact with others in a bid to try and stop the highly contagious flu-like virus spreading

The measures are being implemented to try and limit the stress on the NHS during the peak of the pandemic.

At such difficult times the Police across West Yorkshire want to reassure the public that they are working hard to keep the public safe amid the ongoing threat from the Coronavirus pandemic.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins and West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson today reassured communities that plans were in place to ensure that West Yorkshire Police continued to provide a service to the public.

Chief Constable John Robins QPM said: “We have seen over the last few days the developing situation regarding the pandemic and how we are all preparing for the future weeks and months ahead. Understandably there is widespread public concern and every public service now faces some significant challenges.  However the public can be reassured that we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure their safety.  We have an amazing and dedicated workforce of police officers, police staff, Special Constables and volunteers who are used to dealing with major incidents and who will do everything they can to keep the people of West Yorkshire safe.

“We are following national guidance from Public Health England and from the National Police Chiefs Council.  We already have operational and contingency plans in place and we are working closely with our partners on the Local Resilience Forum as things develop.

“The public can help us manage our demand by thinking carefully before they call either 999 or the 101 non-emergency number, so that we can help those who are facing an emergency situation get the help they so urgently need quickly.  Clearly the use of our online internet and app-based service, to report crimes or get advice, will reduce call volumes and help us manage demand.

“Our communities can be reassured that we are monitoring the situation closely and will adapt our operational response as things change.

“West Yorkshire Police has a proud tradition over many years of stepping up to meet any challenge that comes our way and this one is no different.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson OBE said: “My priority as PCC is to ensure vulnerable people and victims of crime have the ongoing support of the police and access to the vital services they need through this pandemic, many of which are commissioned through my Office with key partners.

“It appears that this global health emergency will take many weeks and months to overcome and our joint approach needs to be calm and evidenced based. I believe the Government should be supporting and funding whatever measures are necessary to protect life and slow the spread of infection, including more and increased testing for key frontline workers in the NHS, policing and other key services who are working tirelessly on all our behalves.

“Officers and staff at West Yorkshire Police, and my office are all committed to doing everything we can to support our communities during these unprecedented times.

“I am regularly in contact with the Chief Constable on how West Yorkshire Police are adapting and responding to these ongoing issues and I am assured the situation is being managed effectively in such challenging circumstances through the West Yorkshire resilience structures. There are also wider criminal justice issues for such as the courts, prisons and probation and I’ll be looking to work with and understand how the wider system can continue to operate under these unique circumstances.

“I have already taken sensible precautions with the office to avoid the spread of this virus and I would urge everyone to do the same, we all have a duty to look after one another. That includes following the public health advice issued with regard to hand washing and one-to-one contact, scaling down internal and face-to-face meetings and encouraging anyone who feels unwell to self-isolate immediately for their own and protection of others.

“We are committed to keeping West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe in these unique times and we can be contacted in the usual way with any concerns as the situation develops which will be kept under review day by day.

“I would ask you to look after one another and ensure we are all doing all we can to support our most vulnerable members of society during this time of uncertainty. Be safe out there.”