This is an abbreviated version of the bulletin from our Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. I’ve removed the general information we’ve seen from elsewhere.
If you need police help, ask for it
Devon and Cornwall Police has made extraordinary efforts in the past week to reshape itself so it can maintain its frontline service. Officers have been pulled off projects to go back on the frontline, 40 student officers were trained in three days to answer 999 calls to give the contact centre some resilience, and command structures have been set up to enable the force to respond quickly to a rapidly changing situation. The result is that the police are still there to investigate crimes and attend incidents and in many ways the force is operating entirely normally. Overall crime levels are actually down for this month in comparison to the last two Marchs, and anyone who thinks this situation is a licence to commit crime will be sorely disappointed. Of course, in an emergency call 999, in a non-emergency always ‘click before you call’ by filling out the form at devon-cornwall.police.uk or using the live webchat service on the force website devon-cornwall.police.uk, if you need to call 101 do so. Information on crime can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.
If you have been a victim of crime – see what help is on offer
One of my roles is to commission services for victims of crime, this is delivered in the force area via the Victim Care Unit, a team of experts who can tap into a vast array of organisations which deliver a range of specialist services. They can offer practical and emotional support to victims of crime, dramatically reducing its impact on society. The unit certainly isn’t closed for business. I have seconded staff from my office to ensure it can still help victims through this difficult time and last week launched a 24-hour Victim Support webchat service to add resilience through these challenging times. Visit victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk or call 01392 475900 for help.
The recent Government measures doesn’t mean you can’t make contact with someone in your community who might need help. I’ve been inspired by many of the efforts on social media to keep morale up and communities together. If you are worried about a neighbour who needs to self-isolate it is perfectly OK to help pick up groceries or a prescription for them as long hygiene precautions are taken. A regular email or call will help to reduce loneliness and remind them that we are all in this together.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly