Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Coronavirus: Over 300 retired Met Police officers apply to help during pandemic
6 April 2020, 18:51
More than 300 former Met Police officers have answered the call to return to the force and support serving officers during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the week since Commissioner Cressida Dick called on retired officers to return, a total of 339 applications have been submitted.
More than 30 other former officers have applied to work as special constables, and another 307 who retired more than five years ago have also volunteered to help the force.
Officers nearing 30 years’ pensionable service have also been asked to delay their retirement and stay as a member of the force.
The Met said they have "already begun the process" in order to get applicants "back into the service and onto the frontline as soon as possible."
The first batch of so-called "returners" entered training on Monday in order to return to London's streets as soon as possible.
The Met said it has also been inundated with offers from members of the public who want to "do their bit for London."
Volunteers will soon take on a range of roles to support frontline officers and staff, the Met said.
Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said: “I’m not surprised by the number of our former colleagues who want to come back and help us keep London safe at this time, but I am incredibly grateful to them.
“The desire to serve the public and support your team runs deep in all police officers and they understand better anyone the challenges facing their colleagues in the current climate.
“It is humbling to see the number of people who want to support their city and their police by giving is their time for free as volunteers. We are their police service and to see such an overt display of help for us is hugely reassuring to my officers and staff.
“I am grateful to them all. Their work will be so very important as the demands on us grow and vary over the coming weeks, but I want people to know and to see that the Met is here for them and that we will maintain our operational resilience and continue to work with the public during this hugely challenging time for all.”
Police have so far had to deal with a number of coronavirus related crimes in recent weeks.
On Thursday, a man from Merseyside has been jailed for six months for spitting and coughing at NHS workers who were trying to treat him.
David Newton, 50, from Liscard on the Wirral was being treated at Arrowe Park Hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning when he became violent.
As hospital workers treated him, he started kicking out at staff, swearing at them and then coughing and spitting at workers who didn't have protective equipment on.
On Sunday, a man was charged after licking items and putting them back on the shelves in a supermarket in Dorset.
It comes as the UK's coronavirus death toll has hit 5,373, a rise of 439 from Sunday, the Department of Health said.
The number of confirmed cases is now 51,608, with over 208,000 people having been tested.
403 hospital patients in England who tested positive for coronavirus have died, taking the total number to 4,897, NHS England said.
The patients were aged between 35 and 106, and 15 of them had no known underlying health condition.
London has recorded the most deaths - 129.
The Midlands has seen 75 and the North East & Yorkshire 67.
Retired officers can apply online through the following link: https://policecareers.tal.net/vx/appcentre-External/candidate/post/4216/en-GB