Steve Turner has called for emergency workers to be tested daily for Covid
Response times will rise due to the “pingdemic”, a police and crime commissioner has warned.
Steve Turner has called on the Government to review the self-isolation rules for workers after Cleveland Police was forced to cancel annual leave and rest days for some officers to fill gaps caused by staff contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app.
In one incident five officers were reportedly forced off-duty after they came into contact with a prisoner who tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr Turner, who was elected as police and crime commissioner in May this year, has now called for healthy emergency workers to be tested daily for coronavirus so they will not automatically be taken off frontline duties.
He told the 英国广播公司: “We have got to provide a service. We suddenly find ourselves cancelling rest days and cancelling leave and bringing officers in from other shifts to cover where we have got the gaps.
“然而, our call times will go up, we will miss some calls we would normally pick up because we have less resilience in the call centre and all of these things will have a knock-on effect for the Cleveland public.”
More than half a million people have been told to self-isolate in recent weeks and industry organisations have warned the Government that staff absences are growing “exponentially” in some sectors such as manufacturing.
Boris Johnson said at a press conference on Monday that some key workers would be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated, but the full list has not yet be released by No10.
A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “We’re seeing an increase in demand on requests for service due to the heatwave, restrictions being lifted and the school holidays.
“We’re also seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases and self-isolation across the workforce which is having an impact on the front line.
“We have put swift plans in place to ensure that we can respond to the most vulnerable in our communities and deal with 999 emergencies, however the public may experience delays in call answering for non-emergency incidents and we’re asking people to use the website to report or ask for advice if they are able.
“For operational reasons we don’t provide the details of current levels of sickness as part of our overall strategy to keep the public safe from interested criminals.”