Hampshire police leader calls for officers to get Covid-19 vaccine as it would 'take a couple of hours'

CALLS to vaccinate police officers have grown louder after the shocking house party footage was released.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 21st February 2021, 4:00 pm

Zoe Wakefield represents the force’s rank-and-file as Hampshire Police Federation chair and has reacted to the body-worn video footage of the party at St Chad’s Avenue in North End.

She has previously said officers should be vaccinated to protect them, and the people they see through their work.

Now she said: ‘This BWV footage clearly shows the risks officers are facing in order to enforce the legislation, reduce the demand on the NHS and keep the public safe.

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Police this week released footage of a large house party in St Chad's Avenue, North End, that they broke up last month Picture: Hampshire police

‘Officers are putting themselves at risk in order to do this and need the protection of the vaccine, faced with people not wearing masks, not social distancing, in a confined space where officers are having to use physical force to prevent them from avoiding prosecution.

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‘It would take a couple of hours to vaccinate every police officer in Hampshire.’

It’s a view backed by Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane.

Zoe Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation chair

Mr Lane said officers have been making a ‘really strong argument for being vaccinated’ and they should be ‘vaccinated as soon as is feasible’.

He added he understood why the vaccination priority groups had been drawn up.

‘They are expected to go forward into risk areas,’ he said, and added: ‘The nature of policing says that if we want all of our people to be available to keep us safer, we don’t want them feeling ill even if they’re at less risk than some others.’

Mr Lane added people should show ‘significant thanks and respect’ to those at risk of being exposed to the virus who have sought to protect others.

Police and firefighters in St Chad's Avenue in North End, Portsmouth, on January 30 responding to reports of a house party during lockdown. Neighbours said one man had to be rescued from a roof.

This includes teachers and others on the front line, he said.

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