Published 19 March 2020

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Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has expressed his gratitude to all those working to keep the public safe during the coronavirus crisis.

He said today:

'First of all, a big thank you to all of those working in our emergency services, health and social care and public health for what you are all doing for us at this critical time.'

He also outlined some of the things he has been doing to support Kent Police, and his commissioned services, at this time:

‘I have been engaging with the Chief Constable in recent weeks to understand the impact coronavirus will have on the force and how he is working to support officers, staff, and volunteers.

‘My team is involved in the force briefings and I am receiving regular updates from Chief Officers. I have offered Kent Police my full support in getting them through this pandemic, including financial support should it be necessary.

‘Guidance has been published for officers, staff, and volunteers for their own wellbeing and interactions with the public and it is being updated regularly. I have been assured that there are contingency and business continuity plans in place to help the force to continue to operate as best as it possibly can and mitigate any possible reduction in resources. Incidents will continue to be responded to based on the existing assessment of threat, harm and risk.’

He added:

‘My team has also been in touch with those charities and other organisations who provide my victims services to make sure they know they have my support during this time, and that they will continue to receive funding so they can have stability.

‘I have a duty of care to my team, who are following national guidance, and to my Independent Custody Visitors, who have been contacted by my office.

‘I have liaised with the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the South East area to talk about their working arrangements during this outbreak and how they will work with police and courts to keep the justice system working as best as it can.’

To assist Kent Police at this time he urged the public to only phone 999 if there is an emergency or a crime in progress.

Mr Scott added:

'If the event has already occurred or it is not an emergency, or you have a question, please think about visiting the Kent Police website to report online, or find out information, first if you can. You can also call 101, but do try to click online before you call as much of what you might need is available online.

'If you are a victim of crime and would like to talk to someone, you can also contact Victim Support Kent on 0808 168 9276.'

Finally, Mr Scott also encouraged members of the public to only look to and share official sources of information and guidance about the outbreak and how to deal with it.