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Met Police Commissioner 'baffled' why officers not at front of Covid vaccine queue

19 January 2021, 08:59 | Updated: 19 January 2021, 09:41

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Met Police Commissioner has told LBC she is "baffled" why officers are not at the front of the queue for the Covid vaccine.

During a regular Call the Commissioner phone in LBC listener Anthony from Bromley called to ask Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick a personal question.

The caller told the Commissioner his son had been a front line police officer for a year and had just recovered from Covid.

He asked what the police force was doing to get frontline police officers the coronavirus vaccine.

The Commissioner said she had been asking for police officers to be given the vaccine sooner.

Read more: First Covid-19 vaccine jabs given to over 4m people as Hancock says 'don't blow it now'

Revealing to LBC she has been talking with the Government for "many many weeks," she said with the police being a critical service it was vital to "keep the police safe."

Commissioner Dick set out some of the roles her officers were carrying out while policing during the pandemic she said police "have to get up close and personal."

She added it was not possible for officers to dress in full protective clothing and PPE.

"They are putting themselves at risk, they have been for the last year," Dame Cressida said.

Read more: 24/7 Covid vaccine clinics to be piloted within weeks, minister tells LBC

Read more: Rapid vaccine rollout could see lockdown start to be lifted in March, minister says

The Commissioner said she was asking the Government to review the vaccine rollout process.

Telling LBC she was "baffled," that those in her age bracket were set to be given the Covid vaccine before frontline officers.

She told Nick: "In cohort five to nine you have people in what I might call my age group and I am baffled really why, but obviously this is a decision that the Government's made so far on the basis of something called the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), who are experts.

"But in many other countries, police officers and law enforcement colleagues are being prioritised and I want my officers to get the vaccination."

Read more: Over 70s and clinically vulnerable to be invited for Covid jabs

Yesterday, Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi suggested he would be in favour of including retail workers in a priority grouping with teachers and police after the most clinically vulnerable are vaccinated.

Top of the priority list are people who live and work in care homes, followed by people over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers, including NHS staff.

Next on the list are people over the age of 75, and the fourth group are people aged over 70 and those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.

The Government has set the target of vaccinating 15 million people across the UK by mid-February, including health and social care staff, the elderly and people in care homes.

Cabinet minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday that all adults will be offered a first dose by September.

Revealing to LBC she had received "warmer words" that police and other frontline workers could be at the front of the queue at the start of phase two.

"I think there's a strong case, but I do understand these are difficult decisions," the Commissioner said.

Watch the whole question and answer session with the Commissioner here.