Bedfordshire Police urge Bedford residents to stay in and keep safe

The public are being urged to follow national advice and stay in

Bedfordshire Police and its partners are urging communities to follow national advice by staying in and supporting one another to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

With further restrictions being placed people's movement to slow the spread of the disease, health workers, emergency services, local authorities and businesses are also changing the way they work in order to effectively protect the most vulnerable.

The #KeepingBedsSafe initiative is being coordinated by the Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum, which is made up of the country's hospitals, health services, emergency services and local authorities, and aims to reassure the public of the hard work being carried out daily by our dedicated servicemen and women to protect our neighbourhoods.

Police

Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: "These are unprecedented times and it is imperative that people comply with the measures outlined by the government to reduce the rate of the spread of this virus.

“As a police force we have a clear duty to protect life so are fully behind the efforts to control the outbreak and are working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to review the legislation to understand how we can use it to keep our communities safe.

"While we will have additional powers to prevent people going out unnecessarily we would much prefer that everyone adheres to the advice of staying at home and not gathering in public places.

“As a police service, we too are also having to adapt the way we deliver our services and what we are doing to ensure we too comply with the national advice and do our part in keeping everyone safe.

“All of us have been, and will continue to be affected by this, we are proud that we can make a difference to or communities who always show such resilience and togetherness in times of need.

"This initiative is a great way to give advice and guidance and highlight ways that the community can work together with all of our partners in a safe way to get us through this."

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson said: “I know many residents are concerned about the coronavirus outbreak. We are working to ensure we keep providing essential services, particularly to the most vulnerable. The government has asked everyone to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of this virus.

“The council has set up a Community Hub to help those in need. If you need any help or are able to offer support, please visit www.bedford.gov.uk/covid19.

"If you are not comfortable using the online form available there to ask for assistance, please call 01234 718101.”

Bedfordshire Clinical and Commissioning Group’s Director of Partnership Engagements and Communications, Jane Meggitt said: "There will undoubtedly be tough times ahead and we are working together to ensure we are as prepared as we can be to support our communities.

"That includes working really closely to bring our communities together to ensure everyone has the latest information and advice, particularly our most vulnerable.

"We've seen community groups being formed online across Bedfordshire filled with people who want to help, this is a way we can all get together in a constructive, coordinated and positive way.

“Everyone has a role to play, so follow the advice: stay at home, only leaving home for very limited purposes and wash your hands regularly as these steps will save lives.

"It is vital that people follow the expert guidance on washing their hands, staying at home, social distancing and protecting the NHS so that services are there for those who really need it.”