Thank you’ – the simple message from Chief Constable Simon Cole today (Sunday) to our force, to our communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and to our partners.
Yesterday (Saturday) saw more officers on duty across the force area than there would be for a typical New Year’s Eve as Leicestershire Police worked with partners to support the re-opening of the night-time economy across Leicestershire and Rutland while also policing the lockdown in Leicester and the surrounding protected area.
And it was a busy night for all involved – with response to incidents, proactive patrols and lots of engagement with the communities.
Patrols in the protected area of Leicester and its surrounds as part of Operation Lockfast saw huge compliance with the current lockdown rules which are in place. Officers carried out patrols across the area throughout the night and were pleased to see areas deserted as people adhered to the guidance by staying at home.
Outside of the protected area where lockdown rules have been eased, officers were on duty working under Operation Integrate. Across these areas, the vast majority of residents were seen to be complying with the Government guidelines, acting responsibly and socialising safely.
Mr Cole said: “This time has been a huge challenge for all of us. We are effectively policing a force area where different Government guidelines apply to different areas. But the way that my officers and staff have responded to this has simply been outstanding. Last night especially saw a massive effort across the whole area and I am very proud of the dedication and commitment which everyone involved has shown
“Across the protected area of Leicester and the surrounds there was huge compliance with the lockdown rules. Throughout the rest of the force area, the vast majority of residents were acting responsibly and adhering to guidelines. Thank you for this and for working with us to keep our communities safe and protected.
“Our thanks also go to our partners and volunteers who have been working alongside us and also carrying out tremendous work. Members of our Special Constabulary have carried out tireless work and shown a massive effort in their duties as have our partners including the local authorities and British Transport Police. It has very much been a joint effort across the whole weekend.
“Sadly, there were however a number of incidents last night too which you will have seen. These are, of course, being taken very seriously and full investigative work is underway. Last night also saw a dispersal order placed in Market Harborough centre. This was put in place as a response to incidents happening in the area.
“For us, there is still a lot more work going forward and therefore we continue to ask you to be responsible. This is a continued public health crisis. If you are in the protected area, then please ensure you stay at home, you only travel if essential, you wash your hands regularly, maintain two metres social distance from others and get tested if you do have any symptoms.
“If you live outside the area please still ensure you are adhering to Government guidelines, staying responsible, socialising safely and maintaining social distancing. This is about our lives and our livelihoods and we all need to continue working together in order to stay safe together. Thank you to the vast majority of you who have been and continue to work with us in this way.”
The work of our officers, staff and volunteers was shared across our social media throughout the day. Our posts on the main Leicestershire Police Facebook and Twitter accounts yesterday (Saturday) had a reach of more than 621,000. This is not taking into account the posts which were shared across the local neighbourhood area accounts.
The protected 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.
Leicestershire Police Released Dated 05/07/20