Covid outbreak at force GOLF day: 20 police officers self-isolating

‘Twenty’ Greater Manchester Police officers are self-isolating after an outbreak of coronavirus at a force GOLF day

  • Claims were made by a former senior GMP detective turned whistleblower 
  • Two officers are said to have tested positive for the virus, and other members of the force are said to be self-isolating after coming into contact with them  
  • GMP said they launched ‘internal track and trace protocols 

At least 20 Greater Manchester Police officers are self-isolating after an outbreak of coronavirus at a force golf day.

Police confirmed that ‘a number of officers’ in the Oldham district have tested positive for the virus, while a number of ‘other officers’ are also self-isolating ‘as a precaution’.

It comes after several officers from the force reportedly went out on a two day jolly to a local golf course. 

Former senior GMP detective, Pete Jackson, made the claims in a series of tweets that around 20 officers in Oldham are isolating after two who attended the alleged golf session tested positive.

 

In a series of tweets former senior GMP detective, Pete Jackson, claimed that around 20 officers in Oldham are isolating after two who attended the alleged golf session tested positive 

He went on to make serious allegations against one seargent, who allegedly ‘continued to work while suffering coronavirus symptoms’, forcing other members of GMP to also self-isolate. 

One unhappy user on Twitter responded to the claims with: ‘How bloody stupid.’

The force did not respond directly to claims made on social media that the outbreak is linked to officers attending golf days together last week.

GMP said it has a Covid-19 contingency plan in place to minimise the impact on police resources, but said the virus ‘remains an on-going concern for us as an emergency service’.

The force added that following any positive tests among staff, ‘internal track and trace protocols are launched and if there are indications that there is learning then we work with both individuals and the organisation to effect changes to minimise future infections amongst our staff.’

GMP said it has a Covid-19 contingency plan in place to minimise the impact on police resources, but said the virus ‘remains an on-going concern for us as an emergency service’

Anyone now breaking self-isolation rules can now be fined up to £10,000 under draconian new rules introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend. 

Fines for those breaching the rules, which come into effect this week, will start at £1,000 – rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders and ‘the most egregious breaches’. 

During the first peak of coronavirus in April, GMP’s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said around a fifth of his workforce – some 1,865 GMP staff – was self-isolating because they were either suffering symptoms, or because they had contact with someone who had symptoms.

Mr Hopkins said although staffing had not fallen to a ‘critical’ level, it would mean police would have to be ‘stricter’ about which crimes to investigate and which to shelve.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said the force was called to more than 400 illegal gatherings and covid-19 related incidents last weekend

GMP have been trialling a new system of allowing healthy, self-isolating staff to take non-emergency 101 calls via laptops delivered to their homes.

Bosses also said they planned to bring in almost 10,000 coronavirus testing kits to ensure asymptomatic front line staff are healthy and not passing on the the virus.

Meanwhile, the number of 999 calls GMP have been receiving has skyrocketed – mainly driven by complaints about people not observing local restrictions.

On Friday, August 14, the force received 1,000 more 999 calls than on the same day last year.

Police said they were ‘really worried’ that people with a genuine emergency would not be able to get through.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said the force was called to more than 400 illegal gatherings and covid-19 related incidents last weekend.

ACC Bailey expressed concern that the new ‘rule of six’ law which came into effect nationally, would confuse people in Greater Manchester where rules are already stricter due to spirally infection rates. 

Police have come under fire for breaking up a children’s birthday party in Swinton and an engagement party in Rochdale. 

Chief Constable Hopkins said at the time: “It feels a bit like we can’t win.” 

Confirming the outbreak among officers tonight, GMP said in a statement: ‘A number of officers from GMP’s Oldham district are currently self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.

‘As a precaution and in line with Government guidance as well as GMP policy, a number of other officers are also self-isolating.

‘Earlier this year, GMP developed Covid-19 contingency plans which have been successfully executed to ensure the operational impact is limited, but it remains an on-going concern for us an emergency response service.

‘GMP continues to ensure all staff and officers are aware of guidance regarding symptoms.

‘When staff/ officers test positive, internal track and trace protocols are launched and if there are indications that there is learning then we work with both individuals and the organisation to effect changes to minimise future infections amongst our staff.’

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