Met police commissioner urges former officers to come back amind coronavirus outbreak

27 March 2020, 08:35

The Met want former officers to come back to help
The Met want former officers to come back to help. Picture: PA

By Tobi Akingbade

The Metropolitan Police has asked retired officers to consider returning to work amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Commissioner Cressida Dick is writing to all former Met officers who retired within the last five years to ask them to re-join either in a paid or voluntary capacity.

The move comes as the Prime Minister announced the country would go into lockdown due to coronavirus.

Additionally, current officers who are nearing 30 years’ pensionable service are also being asked to delay their retirement.

Ms Dick said: “On behalf of London, and all the men and women of the Met, it is important that we take all reasonable steps to bolster our numbers.

“Demands on us will grow and vary over the coming weeks but I want people to know and see that the Met is here for them. We must maintain our operational resilience and continue to provide the best possible service to London.

“Police officers overwhelmingly join ‘the job’ to help people and to make a difference, and that desire will be as strong today as it was the very first day they joined.

“I am hopeful that these exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable former colleagues choose to come and be part of our team and support London at this extraordinary time – either as a re-employed police officer, special constable or a volunteer.”

London Ambulance Service has also appealed for former staff to return.

The service tweeted: “We are asking former members of our team to consider returning, if they can, to support us in helping Londoners in need.

“We’re particularly keen to hear from former 111 and 999 control room team staff.”

This comes as it was announced that firefighters will be able to deliver food and medicines, drive ambulances, and retrieve bodies as the country deals with the outbreak as part of an agreement between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), the National Fire Chiefs Council and Fire and Rescue Service National Employers.

Firefighters will continue responding to emergencies such as fires and collisions, but can now provide additional services to help the UK tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “We face a public health crisis unparalleled in our lifetimes. The coronavirus outbreak is now a humanitarian emergency and firefighters rightly want help their communities.

“To get through this, we must find ways to work together with other emergency services. Firefighters are fantastic at teamwork, are experienced in driving emergency vehicles and, as a service rooted in the community, may be best placed to deliver essential items to the most vulnerable.

“Many fear the loss of life in this outbreak could be overwhelming – and firefighters, who often handle terrible situations and incidents, are ready to step in to assist with body retrieval.

“Firefighters and control staff have always stepped in when the public has been in danger and this crisis is no different. The strain on all emergency services will be great, but we can and will get through it together.”

As of Friday morning (March 27), the Covid-19 death toll reached 578.

Meanwhile, across the globe, the US has overtaken China and Italy as the country with the most Covid-19 cases in the world.

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