COMMISSIONER CRESSIDA Dick said in statement: “This is a tremendously worrying time for the people of London and the whole country but we are absolutely determined to continue to provide the best possible public service. I want the public to know we are here for them.
“The Met is here to protect people and prevent crime wherever we can – and we will continue to do that.
“We have a well-rehearsed plan and are a large organisation with the ability to flex and move people and resources to meet the demands we face.
“My senior team has been working extremely closely with government, City Hall and the health authorities to make sure our plans remain appropriate.
“Londoners have seen us respond to all kinds of major incidents in recent years and we will always be here for them.”
The commissioner was speaking while on patrol in Croydon with a team of more than 30 officers as part of work to drive down violence in the borough.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Metropolitan Police Service continues to work closely with government and others to ensure our response is in line with the fast-developing picture nationally.
The national response is co-ordinated by Public Health England (PHE), closely supported by the NHS. The Met are working closely with City Hall and other partners to ensure that their response is co-ordinated and that our organisation has sufficient contingencies in place to meet the challenges that may lay ahead.
The Met is a member of the London Resilience Group (LRG), alongside blue-light colleagues from the City of London police, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance, local authorities and the Mayor’s Office.
Any incidents involving Met officers or individuals suspected of having contracted COVID-19 are being dealt with in accordance with PHE guidelines and any use of special police powers will be in line with National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) advice.
An experienced command team is in place to lead the Met’s response both internally and externally, led by assistant commissioner Mark Simmons.
Their robust contingency plans remain under constant review to ensure that they are prepared to deal with issues arising from the impact of any pandemic situation, such as the cancellation or closure of large-scale public events.
The Met suggest that they have the ability to adapt and move their workforce as necessary, and have options available to them should they be required. They will keep their operational capability under constant review and ensure they maintain core policing duties.