Dozens of Avon and Somerset Police staff test positive for Covid

  • Andy Marsh speaking on ITV West Country

Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police says he is concerned for the safety of his team as 82 police officers have been assaulted since the beginning of the year.

Andy Marsh confirmed 66 officers and staff tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday 26 January, with some having been hospitalised because of the virus.

Avon and Somerset's Chief Constable speaking to ITV West Country from Shepton Mallet. Credit: ITV West Country

He said: "Many of them [officers] have been spat on and indeed bitten so I am concerned about their infection rates."

"We've got 66 officers and staff tested positive this morning, that's the latest number."

"I would like the officers and frontline staff to be vaccinated but we don't want to elbow vulnerable people out the way."

"So it's a priority and we hope that will be given consideration to in coming weeks."

The Police Federation is calling for roll-out of vaccines for officers. Credit: ITV West Country

He went on to say they have been issuing around 100 fixed penalty notices every week since the start of the pandemic but that figure is rising.

He added: "From the pandemic overall we were issuing a ticket every 44 calls, approximately, we are now issuing a ticket every 11.

"So we have turned the volume up."

"Hopefully we're in the last leg of this, we want to help, we would rather not be doing enforcement, please comply to help protect the NHS."

Andy Marsh also says Avon and Somerset police has offered its staff to support the role out of the vaccination programme.

The force has taken 52,000 calls since January 5 with 3,700 specifically related to Covid-19.

People who wish to report a covid-related breach are being asked to do so online or on the police non emergency number 101.

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