Statement from Lord Willy Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland regarding the localised lockdown imposed upon Leicester and the conurbation.
“It’s clear that this new lockdown is justified. Community safety is my top priority. Public health comes first, and I urge everyone to follow the guidelines to protect each other and save lives.
“As the first localised lockdown, we are the pathfinders. Amazingly we were not even provided with a map of the area until well after the announcement. That has now been issued, but, unfortunately, we received minimal guidance regarding practical implementation at the time the measures were imposed.
“I have a great deal of sympathy with the agencies charged with delivery. They needed clarity from the start, and I am astonished that it is being drip-fed as the day progresses.
“We wait to see what, if any, legislation will accompany support measures. From the enforcement side, I know that the police must wait to see what the Statutory Instrument will deliver.
“Leicestershire Police was applauded for the sensible way in which it policed the initial lockdown. This time will be no different. They will continue to use the four Es (Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce) but without additional legislation, enforcement powers are limited.
“We are in a rapidly changing environment. By the end of the day, we should know more. Our local authorities and the public at large needs clear cut information to navigate the next two weeks with confidence and to maximum effect.
“Many people are going to be adversely affected, particularly the vulnerable and those at risk of abuse. We will do our utmost to protect them; but the overall impact will be widespread with significant implications for all of us – socially, financially, professionally or for physical and mental health.
“I will work with the police to ensure that people have the support they need, when they need it and I welcome the Health Secretary’s assurance that extra resources will be made available. I will be pressing for these resources to be released as and when they are needed.
“It’s also critical that up-to-date information is made available. This will provide a better understanding of what is happening and why; alongside the progress being made to control the virus. That, in turn, provides people to make informed judgements and decisions.
Let us all hope that two weeks will be enough to contain the spread. I urge everyone to pull together once again to stay safe. It that means washing hands even more, avoiding all but essential travel, social distancing and postponing a visit to the barbershop, then so be it.”