Bedfordshire Police - COVID-19 questions & answers
COVID-19 questions & answers
As the country goes into further lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus and instructions have been issued by the Government about what people should be doing, we have put some Q&As together members of the public have been asking our frontline officers and staff.
We urge not to call our 101 service and instead read our Q&As to see if the answer to your question is on here.
What is the Government advice?
By reducing day-to-day contact with other people, it will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government has introduced new measures of only leaving the house for:
- shopping for essential items, which should be undertaken infrequently.
- one form of exercise a day alone or with members of your household – the government have now advised you should not drive to the destination to exercise and members of the public are advised to do this locally.
- any medical need.
- travelling to/from work, only when absolutely necessary, provided you cannot work from home.
- critical workers and parents of vulnerable children to take children to and from school or their childcare provider.
What are the force’s key messages?
- as a police force our duty is to protect life, so we are fully behind the efforts to control the outbreak.
- we are currently reviewing the legislation to understand how we can use it to keep our communities safe.
- these are unprecedented times and it is imperative that people comply with the measures outlined by the government to reduce the rate of the spread of this virus.
- while we will have additional powers to prevent people going out unnecessarily, we are asking that everyone adheres to the advice of staying at home and not gathering in public places.
Q - I would like to report a group of people for gathering in a certain area or for example my neighbour is having a BBQ and inviting friends round?
A - We are doing regular patrols of hot spot areas and we have the powers to disperse gatherings of more than two people. You can report any gatherings via our online reporting tool at and we will pass the details onto our community inspectors who will decide where community teams need to patrol.
Please note people are allowed to go out together with those they live with or where the gathering is essential for work purposes - but workers are encouraged to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
Everyone should stay two metres apart from anyone outside of their household.
Q - Will police be stopping people outside of their home?
A- It is possible anyone away from their home may be stopped and asked for their reasons for being away from home. If they have an allowable excuse, then our interaction with them will be minimal and they can carry on with their day.
Q - Will you be policing the roads to stop people travelling?
A - Police interact with motorists every day and given the current circumstances it is reasonable to expect officers to ask some motorists whether they have a valid reason for being outdoors. In rural areas for example, where motorists are covering greater distances, this may be appropriate. When vehicles are stopped the driver and occupants are likely to be asked for their reasons, in line with our approach to engage, explain and encourage. We will only take enforcement action if it is necessary and proportionate.
Q - Will you request that people show ID?
A - No, we won’t be asking to see government issued ID. It will however help if individuals are able to provide information evidencing their reasons for being away from home. For example, if key workers have work-issued passes this will make the process quicker.
Q- Is there an opportunity for the public to exploit this and lie about their excuse?
A - Officers will be speaking with individuals to establish their circumstances. Deliberate obstruction or misinformation helps nobody, and risks public safety. Officers will use their discretion in determining whether enforcement action is appropriate.
Q- Is this lockdown only enforceable by the police?
A - Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and could face fines for further non-compliance.
Q – If I am due an appointment with a police officer will someone still come to my house?
A - No all appointments will be done on the GoodSAM app or telephone.
Q – If I am due to visit an officer at a police station should I still go?
A - No all appointments will be done on the GoodSAM app or telephone.
Q – Do I still need to report to a police station under my bail conditions?
A - Yes, but please be mindful to keep to the two metre social distancing government guidelines and all our station enquiry offices have reinforced screens for protection.
Q – If I have CCTV I need to pass on as part of an investigation should I bring it to a police station on a memory stick?
A - No please email it into us. The investigating officer will give you an email address to forward it to.
Q – Can I still access victim support services?
A – Our Signpost Hub is continuing to run, 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am until 5pm on Saturdays, which offers free and confidential emotional and practical support to all victims of crime. During the coronavirus outbreak the best way of getting in contact is to email email@example.com or call the free phone number0800 0282 887, where voicemails can be picked up. Victim Care Co-ordinators can also advise on which other specialist support agencies are available.
Q – Am I allowed to drive somewhere else to exercise or walk my dog?
A – You may be keeping your distances at these spots, but the reasons behind why we don’t want to have extra traffic on the road making unnecessary journeys is this could lead to more accidents and at this time of national crisis emergency services are stretched. You are allowed to exercise outside of your home and walk your dogs, but we urge you all to stay local when doing this and keep at least a two metre distance to anyone else who might be out.
Q – If I am separated, can I take my children to my ex-partner’s house?
A - Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.
Q - Am I allowed to travel to and from work even though I’m not a critical worker?
A - The Government advice is people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home. The Government has not required any other businesses to close apart from:
- pubs, cinemas and theatres.
- all retail stores selling non-essential goods - this includes clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
- libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use, excluding permanent residents, key workers and those providing emergency accommodation, for example for the homeless.
If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.
Q – What is happening with court cases during this time?
A - All new jury trials have been halted until they can be conducted safely during this time where social distancing has been enforced. Where safe to do the government has said efforts to bring existing jury trials to a conclusion should continue. Magistrates courts have been told hearings should take place remotely if the facilities exist. Civil and family courts have been told physical hearings should only take place if a remote hearing was not possible and if suitable safety arrangements could be made.
Q – My car is due an MOT, can I still go to a garage to get one?
A – The government has granted a six month extension to all cars, motorcycles and light vans which have an MOT due from 30 March. But vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition and taken to a garage if they need repairs. Garages are allowed to remain open under the restrictions. Vehicles due for an MOT before 30 March should be taken in for testing, unless their owner is self-isolating. MOTS have been suspended for lorries, buses and trailers for up to three months.
Q- Can I still get a takeaway?
A - While restaurants have been ordered to close, you can still order a take away. We suggest you get a take away delivered to minimise contact and many delivery services are offering a no-contact drop off.
Q – Can carers still visit vulnerable people?
A - If your carer is providing essential support the government says this should continue as normal, as long as the carer doesn’t have symptoms of coronavirus.
- Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old