Surrey Police Chief Constable Gavin Stephens has thanked the residents of Surrey ahead of the long bank holiday weekend as we continue to remind people to stay indoors to save people’s lives during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Chief Constable said: “In these unprecedented times I’m grateful for the public’s support.

“The majority of people in Surrey have been doing their bit over the past few weeks and I would urge them to continue to adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidelines over the four day Easter weekend.

“We are continuing with the national policing advice to engage, explain and encourage members of the public to stay home. Enforcement is always a last resort but will be used where necessary.

“Please: Stay at home; protect the NHS, and save lives”.

Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp added that police are “well resourced” and will be on patrol in urban and rural communities to reassure and support over the Easter break.

DCC Kemp said: “The current face of crime is changing, overall demand into us is down but we are mindful that much is now hidden and less visible to us. Based on patterns from other countries, who are further ahead than us in dealing with this pandemic, we expect to see increases on certain crime types, including fraud and domestic abuse.

“We continue to work with support services to ensure that we are able to respond and support people if they call and need help. We encourage anyone who may be a victim, or who may have concerns about a loved one who may be vulnerable to these hidden crimes, to contact us and we will be there”.

Since the lockdown began the support from the people of Surrey has been incredible and is a boost to officers and staff who are on the front line putting themselves in harm’s way.

However there are a minority of people who continue to flout the guidance for their own benefit. Over the last two weeks there has been an increase in cases of anti-social behaviour, reports of people claiming to have the coronavirus, spitting or coughing at officers and with the reduced amount of cars on the roads – vehicles travelling in excess of the speed limit. Roads policing units will continue to disrupt this and any other criminality.

With more officers, including Special Constables, redeployed to visible policing, as well as additional PCSOs, communities will continue to see a reassuring presence over the weekend.

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: “It is as important as ever that residents follow the Government advice and stay at home this bank holiday weekend. I want to thank the vast majority of Surrey residents who are following this advice – doing your bit will save lives”.

Under government regulations, you should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

• Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
• One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
• Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
• Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home