Police and council join forces to help raise Covid awareness

East Area BCU Commander Stephen Clayman and Cllr Jas Athwal hit the streets of Ilford to share Covid-19 guidance.

East Area BCU Commander Stephen Clayman and Cllr Jas Athwal hit the streets of Ilford to share Covid-19 guidance. - Credit: Redbridge Council

The council and police were out and about in Ilford this weekend as part of a joint effort to raise Covid awareness in the community.

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal and Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, East Area Commander  spread the message about guidelines and handed out tests for key workers.

They joined the council's engagement and enforcement teams and police officers to answer questions and stress the importance of key workers getting tested.

One in three people who test positive do not display any symptoms.

Redbridge has one of the highest Covid infection rates in the country, and last week 63 people in the borough died after contracting the virus, bringing the total to 557.

Though the infection rate has been very high, it has also seen one of the largest weekly drop in rates, going from 1,393 to 879, per 100,000 people.

A council-owned double-decker bus painted black with key Covid messaging has been patrolling the streets in a bid to emphasise how serious the problem is in Redbridge.

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Cllr Athwal said: "Working together with our public-sector partners, such as the police, is an essential part of tackling this deadly virus. We are at a crucial point in the pandemic, and it is vital that nobody becomes complacent as the Covid-19 vaccination programme is rolled out. 

“If anyone is in any doubt about the severity of this virus, they only need to view footage shown this week from inside some London hospitals with exhausted NHS staff continuing to work flat out to save lives and wards full of patients gasping for breath as a result of Covid. The message is simple: stay home, follow the guidance, don’t let one of your loved ones become a victim of Covid.”

Det Ch Supt Clayman added: "We are working very closely with our council partners and whilst the majority of the community are complying with the rules, some are not and are putting others at risk.

"If officers come across blatant breaches of these Covid rules, we may move quickly to enforcement action and this will certainly be the case with large gatherings, house parties and unlicensed music events.”

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