Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has spoken out in support of Derbyshire Police and its Chief Constable Peter Goodman.
He said earlier today: “Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a role to play in helping to stop the spread of this virus, whether it is out on the frontline or simply following the Government’s advice to stay at home unless it’s essential.
“Derbyshire Constabulary, like public service workers up and down the country, is working flat out to keep people safe. This isn’t a practice run, it’s real and it’s happening now. I believe that the actions of Derbyshire Police were, and remain, reasonable. The public are in agreement if the numerous supportive emails and calls to my office and me personally are anything to go by.
“This talk of a ‘police state’ is absolute nonsense. The Chief Constable and I fervently believe in policing by consent, and to do that, people need to know what is expected of them. For example, they are not expected to congregate in beauty spots and they have been made aware of that.
“That’s why the Drone was used to watch out for any large numbers of people at key areas; it’s quicker and less resource intensive than sending a patrol car to cover vast areas of countryside. Derbyshire is a national beauty spot and the force was aware from the calls flooding into the control room that cars and people were flocking to those remote areas.
“While it’s easy to understand why people wanted to go to these beautiful parts of our county, it is not essential. Not now. It is risking lives. If the police did nothing there would rightly be outcry of another kind.
“Furthermore, let’s be realistic, if any of those people travelling to isolated parts of the county got into trouble, had an accident, got lost or fell ill, other people, currently working to fight the virus, would be expected to go to their aid. Quite simply, no-one should risk that.
“I thank, wholeheartedly, the vast majority of people who are heeding the lockdown, but there remains a small minority who believe it doesn’t affect them. My message to them is ‘stay home’ follow the rules and protect yourselves, your families and by doing that, everyone else.
“We are living in unprecedented times and the police are finding their way through this in a bid to protect us and stop the spread of Coronavirus. They are working incredibly hard in the most challenging of circumstances and deserve our support.
“If the recent furore has deterred people from brazenly ignoring the Government’s advice and instructions, then frankly that’s a good thing. It will help to save lives.
“All the emergency and public service workers deserve our admiration and thanks. I for one am simply grateful that they are continuing to do their job to try and keep us safe.”
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Posted on Tuesday 31st March 2020