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Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael marks the Day of Reflection (23rd March)

Last Updated: 23/03/2022

Two years ago South Wales was placed into lockdown - along with the rest of the UK- as emergency measures were introduced to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

As there was no vaccine and only limited testing available, strict limits on the people’s movement was vital to protect the NHS and save lives.

Within days the new Coronavirus Act received Royal Assent and we were only allowed out of our homes for a very limited number of reasons.

It was a time of grave fears and concern for everyone – it was literally a matter of life and death.

The new laws placed a huge burden on policing and police officers in South Wales really stepped up to explain the rules and encourage people to comply with them. Officers and PCSOs worked as a key part of every local community applying the Four Es Principles – engage, explain, encourage and only in the last resort, if people did not comply and showed a total disregard for everyone around them, were they were given fines.

Two years since lockdown is a time for reflection. I want to thank the people of South Wales for their extraordinary efforts in playing their part during these unprecedented times. We have kept a sense of cohesion, cooperation and community in Wales, with joint working by devolved and non-devolved bodies and a particularly strong partnership between the police and local government and clear leadership from Welsh Government.

I particularly want to thank the police officers and PCSOs who had the same challenges as the rest of us in caring to look after their own families and elderly relatives but nevertheless went above and beyond the call of duty to protect the public and cared particularly for the most vulnerable in our communities.

Public services in Wales came together to take collective responsibility during a time of crisis and can be really proud of what has been achieved. We all work together better than we did at the start of the Pandemic and there is a real determination to build on the experience and not to slip back. Policing and Criminal Justice in Wales showed great strengths and the capacity for innovation, bringing courts back into action quickly and earning the comment from the Lord Chancellor “You seem to be better at doing things together in Wales”.

Now that the vaccine roll-out has significantly reduced the number of people becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID-19 and as we move towards the health protection measures in Wales becoming guidance instead of law, it is still as important as ever to take sensible and reasonable steps to keep ourselves and each other safe from this virus as we move into better times. Wearing of masks in appropriate locations and other ways of showing consideration for others should continue to be our approach as we adapt to the “new normal” across South Wales.

Rt Hon Alun Michael, South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner

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