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Over 580 people come forward to become a police emergency volunteer in Sussex

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The Chief Constable has praised hundreds of members of the public who have come forward to offer their services to support the county’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Following a call for support last week, more than 580 members of the public have expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer to help support Surrey Police and Sussex Police should resources reduce or additional specific skills and experience are required.

Sussex Police is continuing to plan ahead during this period of dealing with Covid-19 and as such, is creating a database of retired police officers, specials and police staff who may wish to return to policing for a temporary period, and members of the public who may have specific skills that would be of use.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York said:

“We would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer.

“We were delighted with the response we received and believe it demonstrates the great sense of community here in Sussex, with everyone wanting to pull together and help.

“This is also reflected in how the vast majority of the public are already supporting the force’s work by adhering to the government guidelines to stay indoors, to only travel when essential and to observe safe social distancing.”

As the situation progresses over the next few weeks, Sussex Police will continue to monitor its resourcing levels and assess the potential demand for additional roles. If it is felt a person’s particular skills can be utilised, Sussex Police will make contact with them.

CC Giles York added:

“We will endeavour to update all those who have expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer, but due to the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of the situation and the volume of expressions we have received, this may not always be possible.

“We ask people to please bear with us and know that even if we don’t respond to you immediately, we are incredibly grateful to you for expressing an interest in supporting Sussex Police.”

Sussex Police continues to engage with members of the public and explain the importance of following the government guidance, to protect public health and the NHS.

CC Giles York said:

“We are encouraging people to comply with the government guidance but if faced with non-compliance we will, if necessary and proportionate, follow up with enforcement action as set out in the new legislation.

“Sussex Police has a strong relationship with our communities and I know my officers will be using their skills and powers in a way that maintains public support. I have received many messages of support from community leaders and the public and am pleased to pass them onto officers who are taking personal risks to protect the NHS, they really make a difference. 

“We would also like to reassure the public that although we are putting these contingency plans in place, we are still in a position to respond to emergencies and carry out the normal day-to-day policing expected of us, to keep the public and our communities safe.”

Coronavirus

Powerful viruscide used across Southern Rails stations and trains to kill Coronavirus

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Govia Thameslink Railway’s entire fleet of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains, plus stations and staff areas have been treated with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing the Coronavirus for up to 30 days.

The product further improves GTR’s already-enhanced cleaning regime, in which stations and staff areas are treated with more short-term viruscides, and all 2,700 of its train carriages are sanitised every night.

While the current advice remains to only use public transport if you absolutely have to, the product provides another layer of protection for passengers who do need to travel such as key workers and staff who are valiantly supporting the national effort on the front line.

To help support everyone’s focus on keeping their hands clean, GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers which are being distributed to stations. 

A specially-developed app also tells staff at-a-glance when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.

Engineering Director Steve Lammin said:

“Since the outbreak of this pandemic we have been doing all we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring our trains, and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, and a switch in focus to high-touch areas and the increased use of anti-viral agents.

“We are now using a product that will kill Coronavirus for up to 30 days and we are applying this to surfaces across our network on a 21-day cycle. We want to do everything possible to work with passengers and staff to keep them safe and this will further protect everyone who is working so hard for this country.”

Electrostatic ‘wands’ (pictured and on video) have been used around stations and staff areas and GTR is deploying ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks which were used in NHS Nightingale Hospitals, as they cover large areas quickly. On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally with a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.

Stations, trains and staff areas were already receiving enhanced cleans through additional extra staff, new 24-hour viruscide products and a switch to focus attention on passenger and staff touchpoints. Use of the 30-day viruscide will help GTR renew its focus on out of reach places to further improve the appearance of trains.

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