Published at:

Superintendent Sarah Jackson, who heads up Policing on the Isle of Wight, has outlined how the Police will be responding to the coronavirus crisis – but warns that a time may come when ‘serious and difficult decisions’ have to be made as to what officers can – and cannot – respond to.

In a letter to local residents, Superintendent Jackson explains how Hampshire Constabulary have well prepared plans in place and that agencies are working together to keep Islanders safe.

We would like to share with you some valuable information on the Coronavirus and how the Police will be operating during these times of uncertainty.

Article continues below this advertisement

Superintendent Jackson says:

“I wanted to write to you in these times of an unprecedented civil emergency. Whilst we have not experienced anything of this kind before, I want to re-assure you that we have well prepared structures and plans to deal with the issues this pandemic creates for policing.

“We do know there will be significant disruption to the normal way of life due to the impact on those who care for affected people and those in self-isolation. We also know there will sadly be increased loss of life.

“It is inevitable that we are going to see some of our own officers and staff off work because they are either sick or in isolation. We have plans in place to ensure we maintain our core services, not just within the police but across all public sector services. 

Multi-agency working

“In preparing for this, and as you would expect, all agencies involved are working closely together. A Strategic Co-ordinating Group has been set up which links agencies together. It also links to our local resilience forums, allowing agencies to continuously plan responses together. While we are planning for the worst case scenarios we hope that we manage to control issues stemming from this pandemic at a community level.

Article continues below this advertisement

“The Isle of Wight Council has launched a dedicated helpline to support those at risk. The number is 01983 823600 and there is more information at the below link – https://www.iow.gov.uk/news/New-helpline-to-support-those-at-risk.

Moving Forward

“It is predicted that over the coming months many people could be infected with coronavirus. We are hoping that by following the Public Health England and NHS advice to the public on coronavirus the numbers of people within our communities that may become infected can be lowered.

“Government predictions are that a high percentage of those infected will have minor symptoms, be sick for a very short period or have no symptoms at all, but they will need to be isolated for two weeks as they will be expected to remain infectious for that period. There are many other vulnerable people in our communities who will have to be isolated for longer and will be understandably anxious about this.

“We are working to business contingency plans which ensure all the services are maintained. We have worked out a number of scenarios where differing percentages of our workforce are off sick, in isolation or caring for family members.

Difficult decisions

“From a policing perspective, there may come a time where serious and difficult decisions may have to be made to maintain a level of service to the public. These will see police forces across the country prioritising what they can (and cannot) attend. This may mean that we would not be able to attend less urgent incidents and may have to deal with them in a different way.

“I want to assure you that our priority remains keeping our communities safe.

“One of the areas I want to highlight to you is cybercrime and the need to remain ever more vigilant to this exploitation and the below links offer advice on avoiding becoming a victim – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/cyber-experts-step-criminals-exploit-coronavirus.

In addition our website has comprehensive crime prevention advice about different types of fraud – https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/ .

Hate crimes

“We have seen a number of hate incidents linked to speculation about coronavirus reported to us in Hampshire and we are engaging with our local communities to encourage such incidents to be reported to us.  Any crime perpetuated through ignorance, prejudice or hate is unacceptable. Please report such cases by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency. Reports can also be made online on the Hampshire Constabulary website, through True Vision or using the growing network of Third Party Reporting Centres for hate crime.


Please be assured that Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers are out and about keeping you safe. Please do follow the latest advice from our partners at Public Health England to keep yourself healthy. If you do need our assistance, please contact us on 101 or online via our website www.hampshire.police.uk.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Doug Bailey

Here we go again, we are NOT Hampshire, we are the Isle of Wight. I know we are amalgemated, so all comments by the police should be Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.


No chance of seeing her out on the streets!


This will be very difficult time for every one and people need to stay safe. Pressure on policing will get worse with everyone couped up in doors together. Some people have no gardens and could be stuck in flats with the kids off this makes life difficult for many. Drinking indoors could lead to more Domestic issues too. Loneliness for others and already high population with mental health issues and already high unemployment. This is vital that we protect our island residents young or old, sick or disabled. Protect our Nhs staff is so important now. The one thing the… Read more »

Joe Soap

‘The one thing the police should be doing for all our sakes is to be sighted at the ferry ports and questioning Travellers to the island and turning away holiday makers as this is risking our lives.’
Yes – yes – yes!


Hopefully their planning will take into account the possibility that the stress that build up after several weeks of confinement could lead to domestic incidents being anything but minor.


Yes all those who ‘have’ children more for the tax credits and child allowance and subsidised house and council tax, will now have to ‘care’ for them, themselves. Instead of dumping them on a creche, a nursery school, or gran, they will now have to entertain what they all too often, carelessly bought into the world. With the quality of ‘muvers’ not real Mothers, and the father, if still around, finding doing their ‘deals’ much harder now, life on social housing estates will be colour full to say the least, and will turn more of these offspring ever more feral.… Read more »

Joe Soap

Have you always been such an optimist Seay?

Joe Soap

I believe this pandemic will subside, though it may take a long time but what it will be, is a huge wake-up call to the whole world so we are forced (finally) to address damaging things like pollution, climate change and over population. What this pandemic is doing now, is it’s beginning to address these issues for us where we have so far failed to take sufficient action. This is neither pessimism nor optimism, just an observation.


A realist you mean. When I said how bad this would become ages ago, most thumbed down such. Just watch the ‘usual’ areas erupt, loot and burn.

I will expect no apology, or need one, as I know I am correct, that is satisfaction enough.


i wonder how the underworld will operate now but hopefully it will stop the city gangs from the stabbing of young gangs. Lets hope this frightens the gangs enough now.. We are very lucky here on the island but we will get more problems that will need police attendance i am sure. This could go on for months.

none given

the underworld operates in the shadows. The underworld has managed to operate throughout all of history – wars, prohibition, curfews etc and this pandemic is no different – although some of them will get ill.

The underworld always and I mean always, thrives, when mainstream society is suffering.

Football Betting Site Betway

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets