Update from Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex
“There is no doubt that we are in challenging and difficult times.
Since I spoke to you last week, I’m sure you all know the government has introduced a national lockdown, schools across the county have closed to help break the transmission of the virus and we have witnessed, with sadness, new record high level of infection in our areas.
Against this difficult picture, we know that Essex, as one of the strongest counties, but one of the first counties to be affected by the new variant, is hit hard.
We are being challenged but there are many reasons to be thankful. Our doctors and nurses do an amazing job. They are under pressure; they are working hard but they are delivering for us.
Our police officers, fire fighters and front-line staff across the emergency services are working well together to keep us safe.
We’ve got firefighters volunteering to drive ambulances again on top of their normal jobs.
And our police officers are more visible than ever; engaging with our community, ensuring people understand the new restrictions, that they have them explained to them, and they’re enforced when necessary. If it’s a blatant breach, then clearly through fixed penalty notice or even arrest.
Since the emergency incident was called by the Essex Resilience Forum last week, we have also seen help starting to arrive in the county and a shared commitment to make sure we all do what we have to do to get this virus under control.
The situation in our hospitals remains very challenging. Doctors and nurses across the county have described it as one of the hardest situations they have ever faced.
We owe it to these people, to the doctors, the nurses, the officers, the teachers and the firefighters to do our bit, to stay home, to stay safe and protect our NHS.
Each decision we make individually either increases the risk or reduces it. Those decisions are ours.
It is up to all of us and each one of us to play our part. Please continue to stay at home, stay safe and protect the NHS. Thank you.”