As we continue to introduce you the faces working to keep you safe through Covid-19, the next team up is our new Taskforce. This is a mix of officers from two existing specialist units, our Serious Violent Crime Taskforce (SVCTF) and Tactical Support Group (TSG).
This purpose-built team has been brought together to help us plan our ever-evolving response to coronavirus. They enhance the work of neighbourhood officers by providing an additional presence on the streets, deploying to key locations depending on where the public tell us they need us.
These officers have an extensive set of capabilities and usually focus on proactive policing such as hi-visibility patrols and executing search warrants based on intelligence about drugs or weapons in the community. They also provide support to operations and investigations with many of the officers trained in Taser, firearms and tactical building entry as well as advanced driving and public order.
This work hasn’t stopped; however as demand shifts the team is now a valuable asset in bolstering neighbourhood resources where enhanced patrols are needed to encourage compliance with social distancing measures. They are also responsible for visiting licensed and other business premises where we receive reports that government regulations are not being adhered to.
Inspector Joe Hunt, who heads up the Taskforce said: “We are constantly reviewing all our policing activity and as you’d expect, Covid-19 has resulted in changes to the way we operate, where resources are needed and how we work with our communities.
“We still welcome community intelligence and working to tackle serious, violent and organised crime is still an absolute priority for my team. These officers were chosen for their roles because they enjoy ‘traditional policing’, being out on the streets protecting the public and disrupting criminals who would do them harm. They’re now adapting to meet the needs of the Covid-19 situation, but their presence hopefully provides that additional level of reassurance.
“As we aren’t aligned to any specific district or neighbourhood, we deploy to ‘hotspot’ areas, depending on where the public tell us we need to be.
“This weekend, in addition to executing warrants following a recent serious assault, we have deployed to parks across the county, responding to any reports of people breaching social distancing guidelines. Joined by our mounted unit and off-road bike team, this has given us an opportunity to remind people of the regulations, why they are in place and why it’s absolutely vital they continue to follow them.”
You can follow updates from this team @SYPOperations on Twitter and SYP Operational Support Unit on Facebook.