College joins calls for frontline officers to be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine
The College of Policing has added its voice to calls for frontline police officers and staff to have the Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible after the most vulnerable and at-risk.
The situation is now even more pressing as the Government intends to outline later this month how the restrictions may begin to be eased.
Nick Herbert (Lord Herbert of South Downs), chair of the College of Policing, and Bernie O’Reilly, interim the college’s chief executive officer, have written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to express the college’s support for police workers to be prioritised for vaccine.
Mr O’Reilly said: “Police officers and staff have continued to put themselves in harm’s way throughout the pandemic. It is vital that the safety of police officers and staff is factored into the recovery plan so policing can best help facilitate a safe return of day-to-day activities and protect the public.”
In recent weeks, there have been further reports of police officers coming face-to-face with those who have little or no regard for lockdown rules and pose a significant risk to their health, including shocking reports of officers being coughed and spat at by individuals claiming to have Covid-19.
Lord Herbert and Mr O’Reilly said the college “fully recognises and supports” the focus on vaccinating the most vulnerable in society and frontline workers in the health and social sectors.
“Throughout the pandemic police officers have put themselves in dangerous and unpredictable situations to keep people safe. Police officers have a critical role in enforcing the law and encouraging people to follow guidance and it is right they should be recognised and prioritised for the vaccine,” said Lord Herbert.