A dedicated operation to support the re-opening of the night-time economy and help support the policing of lockdown has been launched by Leicestershire Police.
The force will be deploying additional officers, including members of our Special Constabulary, to work over the weekend period and beyond.
The introduction of additional measures by the Government due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the Leicester area means the force will have a dual approach to its operation.
This will see officers supporting the policing of the lockdown measures in the greater Leicester area and, running in parallel to this, it will be policing the easing of restrictions outside of the restricted area where pubs and restaurants will reopen from 4 July.
Operation Integrate will see more officers on duty than for a typical New Year’s Eve to help ensure communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland stay safe wherever they live.
The force is urging people to do all they can to follow the advice of Save Lives, Save Livelihoods, Be Responsible and Socialise Safely.
For those in the restricted area in and around the city of Leicester people have been asked to stay at home as much as possible and only to travel for essential purposes within, into and out of the lockdown area.
Outside the restricted area the force has been working with community safety partners and the licensing trade to support and facilitate the reopening of premises from Saturday onwards.
People are being asked to plan their days and to abide by any new operating rules premises may have in place to support social distancing.
But the main message is for people to be responsible and socialise safely.
T/Assistant Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: “First and foremost we want to keep people safe. We are in the middle of a continued public health crisis so that has to be everyone’s top priority.
“We will be working across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, being that highly visible presence and engaging with our communities.
We realise it is a difficult situation and we are all still adapting to these new challenges.
“We would ask people within the restricted area to follow the Government’s recommendations of staying home as much as possible during this period and only travelling where it is essential.
“Across the rest of the county and Rutland not affected by the additional restrictions if you are planning to venture out to your local pub remember there are still guidelines in place around social distancing and many pubs and restaurants will have instigated procedures to help keep you safe – please respect and follow those procedures.
“We want people to be able to enjoy themselves but to do so responsibly, having respect for others and socialising safely. Plan your day and plan how you are going to get home.
“We have a policing operation in place to support all of this across the county and Rutland but we will be continuing our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to do the right thing. Of course, we have the option of enforcement open to us which we will use where appropriate.”
The operation will be supported once again by the remobilisation of the Special Constabulary, following on from the success of Op Formidable, to provide extra support to frontline police officers. Special Constables will be working alongside regular police officers to respond to emergency calls and support communities, as well as engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing the government’s guidelines on social distancing.
The training to become a special constable is at the same level of that undertaken by full-time police officers. They hold the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers and manage the role alongside their normal employment.
The restricted area covers the city of Leicester and outlying suburbs including Oadby, Wigston, Birstall, Thurmaston, Braunstone Town, Glen Parva, Glenfield, Leciester Forest East (East of the M1) and Thorpe Astley.
To check if you live within the area please use a postcode checker created by Leicestershire County Council.
Press released 15:59 02/07/2020