Hampshire police officer criticises prime minister over lack of front line Covid-19 vaccines

A POLICE officer has penned an emotional letter to the prime minister, criticising the decision not to prioritise emergency service personnel for Covid-19 vaccines.

By David George
Thursday, 11th February 2021, 2:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th February 2021, 2:36 pm

The Hampshire Constabulary officer, who has asked not to be named, has written a hard-hitting letter to Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock saying his colleagues are feeling ‘hugely let down’ and ‘disrespected’.

The front line officer, who lives with his mother who has severe asthma, said he was recently coughed at by an arrested person in hospital, and a colleague was spat at by someone thought to have Covid.

Read More

Read More
A27 crash: Havant driver dies with teenage passenger left fighting for his life
Hampshire police helmet. Picture: Martis Media

Hampshire Police Federation said he wrote the letter after spending a shift on bed watch at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

He said: ‘This person was on a Covid ward, which means I have spent my entire working day mixing with doctors and nurses who are coming directly into contact with the virus.

‘The notion that we as police officers are not important enough to receive vaccination in some sort of priority is preposterous.

The officer said the bed watch will continue with a rota of officers taking turns.

Zoe Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation chair

‘After this, they will return home to their families, and risk infecting them,’ the PC said.

He wrote: ‘I accept the risks that come with the office that I hold, as every single one of my colleagues do. My mum, however, does not hold that office and has not joined the police service.

‘Every single officer I have spoken to about this feels hugely let down and offended that they are not being treated with respect from the government that we are all working so hard to support throughout this pandemic.

‘We are the first line of defence, after the NHS, to bring this pandemic to an end. Without us, there would not be lockdown compliance, there would be no one to enforce the rules.’

On Monday Mr Hancock said police must ‘wait their turn’ to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse says the issue is ‘out of our hands’ for the government, instead lying with an independent committee.

The government hopes to have vaccinated all over-50s by May, but officers fear they are more susceptible to transmission.

The officer added: ‘We feel like we are being given empty words in response to our calls for some sort of prioritisation after the clinically vulnerable.

‘The standard response of ‘waiting for the JCVI to decide what to do’ is not cutting it, and we all feel like we are being forgotten about.’

Zoe Wakefield, chair of Hampshire Police Federation, added: ‘My colleagues are being spat at, bitten and contracting the virus through just doing their job.

‘I am completely baffled and angry that the government is blatantly ignoring the need for police officers to be vaccinated in the next cohort.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe hise for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as fewer adverts, access to our digital edition and mobile app.

Our trial offer starts at just £2 a month for the first two months.