Frontline policing should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination
The College has added its voice to calls for frontline police officers and staff to have the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible after the rollout is complete for 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 board, and Bernie O’Reilly, interim CEO of the College of Policing, have written to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to express the College’s support for police staff to be prioritised for the vaccination.
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 coronavirus.
The College fully recognises and supports the focus on vaccinating the most vulnerable in society and frontline workers in the health and social sectors.
Lord Herbert said: '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 vaccination.'