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In an exclusive message to The Guide Liverpool Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “The Merseyside public have been great so far.”
“The social distancing is right, the behaviour in the vast majority of times in our shops is right and people are being considerate of others – and that’s what we need to continue doing.”
He said he and his officers would continue to support the public by engaging with them, and educating them, rather than by enforcement.
But he warned: “If we have to, we will enforce.
“I can assure you, they will be very few and far between, those occasions that we use enforcement, and only for those people who aren’t prepared to listen and are putting other people’s lives in danger.”
Chief Constable Cooke revealed the approach the police are taking focuses on education and engagement and not about ‘ridiculously’ enforcing any legislation the government has put in place.
That’s why, he continued, he wanted to work with communities and encourage people to do the right thing.
“I’m glad that the vast majority of people are doing the right thing at the moment,” he said.
“It’s only a very small number who are causing problems.
“This isn’t about targeting people who are just going about their daily business, people who are key workers, people who are out for exercise.
“This is about us working together to ensure that both Merseyside Police and the public of Merseyside are keeping as many people as possible safe over this very difficult period.”
That, he went on, is how it should be.
“We police with consent, we are delighted to be part of Merseyside community and all we want is to keep the people of Merseyside safe and, I think, at the moment we are doing that sensibly, and we are doing that very well.
“So could I ask: please support us in this. Please work with us. And we will get through this together with as few problems as possible.”
Since the coronavirus lockdown, Merseyside Police have already asked people to help them in a number of ways:
* Only contact the non-emergency 101 number when it is a police matter – not for other Covid-19 queries.
Anyone wishing to access the latest government information should go to the website here.
If it is not an emergency situation, you can also contact the police on their website www.merseyside.police.uk and clicking on the ‘report’ tab. Here you can report a crime, antisocial behaviour, fraud, lost or found property, a road traffic incident, a missing person, civil disputes and lost or stolen vehicles.
There is also information and advice available on the website in relation to firearms licensing, registering as an overseas visitor, or reporting suspicious behaviour.
Its social media desk – staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week – is also available to take non-emergency reports. DM them via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’.
BUT – still call 999 in an emergency situation.
Police have also warned the public to be on the alert for scammers, especially the elderly and vulnerable who may be more at risk as they self-isolate.
It’s issued the following advice:
• Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door
• Always ask to see the identification of any person calling
• If you are in any doubt about identification shown, phone the company they claim to represent and check – don’t use the phone number they give you, look in the phone book for it
• Ask the person to wait outside while you check and never leave your front door open while you do so
• If the caller claims to be from the police he/she should have a warrant card and this can be checked by calling Merseyside Police on 101
• If the caller leaves and you are still unsure about their credibility, write down the details of the person and the registration number and type and colour of vehicle if you know it and contact police on 101
• Don’t accept help from anyone charging for their services
•Don’t give your bank card or pin number out
•Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails
•Do not respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal/financial information
If you do suspect someone may be trying to scam you, report it to the police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency. Fraud crime prevention advice can be found on the Merseyside Police website, or on the Action Fraud site at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
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