Group of police officers self-isolating after colleague tests positive for coronavirus following "retirement gathering"

Over 20 officers are self-isolating. Credit: ITV News

A group of police officers in Blackburn are self-isolating after a colleague tested positive for coronavirus following a retirement "gathering" at a local station, the force has confirmed.

A spokesperson from Lancashire Police said an officer developed symptoms and was tested on July 21. 

They were diagnosed with the virus after attending a "retirement gathering" at Greenbank Police Station in Blackburn.

The retirement gathering took place at one of the force's stations in Blackburn Credit: ITV News

The force says that rigorous contact tracing was put into place which has resulted in a total of 22 officers and staff self-isolating.  Of these, 13 are as a result of contact through routine operational duties and a further nine are through contact where some officers had "come together during their break on Saturday, 18 July, to mark the retirement of a colleague."

It comes after Blackburn with Darwen was identified as an 'area of intervention' by Public Health England following a spike in coronavirus cases.

ACC Peter Lawson said: “We take the health of both our officers and the communities we serve extremely seriously. 

As soon as we were notified by an officer that they had tested positive for COVID-19 we immediately started tracing their contacts and requiring them to self-isolate. I can reassure people that we continue to meet all our minimum staffing levels and there will be no effect on operational policing in the county.

ACC Peter Lawson, Lancashire Constabulary

The force said all the affected staff have been working from home whilst self-isolating.