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Police Advice

24th March 2020

Suffolk’s Chief Constable has called on communities to comply with new government measures restricting people’s movements to tackle coronavirus.

Steve Jupp said protecting the NHS and the public must be the priority after the government last night (23 March 2020) ordered people to stay at home to stop the spread of the disease.

Public gatherings of more than two people who do not live together are prohibited, and shops selling non-essential items have been ordered to close. New legislation has been introduced giving police powers to disperse public gatherings and fine those who do not follow the rules.

Mr Jupp said: "It is imperative people comply with these new measures to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to ensure lives are saved.

"The moves so far to limit social distancing have not had the necessary effect, with some people still going about their business as if the threat from coronavirus didn’t exist.

"It has to stop. We all need to work together to protect our NHS and other public services so that we can ensure we can help you.

"I appreciate the crisis we are facing is having a massive impact on people’s lives and the vast majority of people in Suffolk are making a real effort to do all they can to help themselves and others by heeding what has been said. I would now urge the small minority who have not done so to adhere to these new instructions from the Prime Minister.

"Our officers will be out in our communities as we are normally. We will use the opportunity to explain the new rules and discuss with people what they are doing, and why they are out.

"We will continue to work within our traditional policing model, with the consent of the public. The vast majority of the public understand why we may need to use the new powers. We will, of course, negotiate and convince before resorting to the law.

"We must not be complacent. I urge people in Suffolk to follow the advice which is being given, stay at home and help us help the national effort to protect you and our NHS.

"Finally, I would like to say how proud I am of my officers and staff for everything they are doing, along with all the NHS staff and other emergency services.”

The measures announced last night allow people to go out for shopping and basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

What does this mean for me?

Police will need to engage and encourage compliance and may disperse groups of more than two people who do not live with one another. Those who refuse may face a fine.

New powers will come into effect on Thursday – in the meantime officers will approach groups and stress the importance of following these rules.

Non-essential shops will be closed by Trading Standards – officers will support them if necessary. 

Play parks and churches will be closed by local authorities.

Day-to-day policing continues

23rd March 2020

Suffolk Constabulary is issuing advice on social media channels to combat unscrupulous individuals who look to exploit the vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.

The messages on social media urge vigilance against criminals who will be using the publicity around the virus as a chance to target the vulnerable.

For example, the social guidance includes making clear to always ask for identification of anyone claiming to be from the emergency services or the voluntary sector and not to open the door to anyone, especially from someone you are not expecting.

Other scam include coronavirus tax refunds, fake cures, World Health Organisation impersonation emails and bit coin payments.

County Policing Commander for Suffolk Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson said: "We are living through unprecedented times, and while we are seeing mostly positive and very helpful community based activity to support the vulnerable, there continues to be a heartless and scheming group of criminals who will look to exploit the current situation for their own needs.

"Scams are likely to come in many different forms – from, for example, calling on people to say they are testing for the virus, to those fraudulently selling protective face masks, or offering to do shopping and taking money.

 "The majority of groups are well intentioned and will be working through the voluntary or charity sector and will be very happy to provide you with proof as to who they are.

 "The message is simple, if you have any doubts about the honesty of the person or offer of help, we urge you not to engage further – put the phone down or shut the door and report suspicious behaviour."

Vulnerable people will be most at risk so we ask that people protect themselves and we ask relatives and neighbours of the vulnerable to have a conversation with their loved ones or neighbours to stay alert and be wary of unsolicited offers of help.

If you feel in immediate danger call 999 or if you know someone is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud, please contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101 or Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.ukor call 0300 123 2040.

Advice: 

·Only accept help from people you know and / or trust. Never deal with unexpected cold callers

·You do not have to agree to anything you don’t feel comfortable with

· Police, health workers and others will not and do not call at your house to test for coronavirus or ask for money regarding investigations

·Check the person calling at your door has valid identification, even if they are dressed in uniform

·Do not transfer any money across to someone who calls you over the phone, banks will not ask for your personal security details

· Do not trust anyone asking for money transfers or cash over the phone

· Do not make shopping purchases from a company or person you do not know and trust. Use a credit card to pay to protect yourselves.

Further advice can be found on our website:

https://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/coldcallers1.pdf

https://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/fraudprevention1.pdf

The advice attachments can be viewed via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/news/latest-news/16-03-2020/coronavirus-scam-warning