Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro has urged demonstrators to heed social distancing measures, as protests took place in Surrey following the death of George Floyd.
The PCC said he shared the shock and anger at the death of Mr Floyd in Minneapolis but also stressed the need to avoid gatherings that could encourage the spread of Covid-19 in Surrey’s communities.
He said: “Covid-19 is still out there. Restrictions are being eased but the virus is still leading to serious illness and deaths in our communities.
“We have all sacrificed too much to allow the virus to spread further. I share the rightful anger of over the death of Mr Floyd. Discrimination has no place in our society.
“But I would ask anyone exercising their right to protest peacefully to consider whether their actions are likely to place others at risk, or contravene health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“We must continue to obey the rules and avoid gathering in large numbers if we are to continue to protect our loved ones, and the NHS, from harm.
“Police officers are members of the public they police. The respect built between officers and residents is central to this relationship, and I am pleased that this was reflected in the peaceful nature of the demonstrations attended in Surrey over the weekend.”
As Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) National lead for Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, the PCC made the following statement last week with Deputy EDHR lead and PCC for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhinda:
“Alongside our communities, we are saddened and appalled by the footage that has emerged from the US over recent days of the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police officers. We express our heartfelt sympathies to the family and loved ones of George Floyd and we
acknowledge the current strength of feeling as well as the impact that incidents of this nature have on communities around the world.
“In this country, we are proud of the ‘policing by consent’ model on which our forces operate and the work that our police officers and staff undertake day in, day out to keep our communities safe. We also have clear and accountable governance systems in place, with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners representing their local communities and holding their Chief Constables to account on behalf of their communities for policing in their area.
“We are committed to working with our communities and Chief Constables to ensure that the principle of ‘the police are the public and the public are the police’ is worked towards and achieved, and that we deliver against the important commitments set out within the NPCC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.”
The Commissioner alongside Surrey Police is continuing to engage with community leaders, faith groups, organisations and residents to inform a safer Surrey. Surrey Police continues to create a kind, inclusive environment for existing staff, officers and volunteers and for those that show an interest in joining the Force.
Anyone who experiences hate crime is encouraged report it to Surrey Police on 101, online, or to use the Stop Hate UK app available from Google Play or the App Store. Always dial 999 in an emergency.