Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has today echoed the reassurances given by Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen, as the region faces up to the challenges presented by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Commissioner McGuinness said:

“Although this a health-led emergency, the police have a vital role to play, just as we all do in trying to come together and fight this.

“Right now the challenges we as a region and a country face feel huge. But, I want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to rise to this challenge.

“Like the rest of our emergency services, Northumbria Police is staffed by a truly dedicated workforce that is committed to helping others. As ever, our officers are here to protect us, prevent crime and safeguard vulnerable people.

“I’m in contact with the Chief Constable every day, the force is regularly assessing the situation and ensuring robust plans are in place.

“Northumbria Police has well-established, effective and extensive command and control structures in-place and I have been briefed on how those have evolved to match the current challenge. Business Continuity Plans are in-place and the police will continue to work with others across the Local Resilience Forum, because we know we are at our most effective when working together.

“Police officers and staff will continue to respond to incidents and the force will be public about how and when any significant changes are needed in their day to day work.

“I recently agreed a force budget that provided extra investment in our police, and I’ll be discussing with the chief the best ways to make use of those funds during this outbreak. My job is to make sure the force has the resources it needs to deliver on your priorities, and myself and my office are committed to continuing that work.”

The Police Commissioner has begun discussions with charity and support groups that play a role in helping the vulnerable to see what extra support can be offered to them at this time.

Kim said: “I know that the services many of our charity and community organisations provide will need to make changes and I want to thank them also for everything they are doing to ensure those in need get help and support at a time they probably need it the most.

“As a region, we have a wonderful collective spirit that comes together when times are hard and I have no doubt, it’s this wonderful spirit that will see us through.”