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Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa is appealing for people to act with kindness and respect in community pharmacies following reports of violence and abuse against staff during Covid-19.
The PCC is supporting a campaign by the Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) to protect frontline pharmacy staff amid a growing wave of incidents during the pandemic.
Community pharmacists have seen demand increase significantly since the Covid-19 outbreak which is inevitably impacting on services and provision. This has sparked an influx of incidents of abuse and threats against staff.
The PDA has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel calling for government support to raise the issue and take measures to protect pharmacists and their teams from violence. It has also enlisted the support of PCCs to raise awareness of the repercussions of breaking new laws protecting key emergency workers.
Mr Dhindsa said: "Our community pharmacies are doing a fantastic job during what is an unprecedented and challenging time. As key workers, pharmacy employees are putting themselves and their families at risk during this pandemic to help others and deserve respect and appreciation for their services.
"The safety of frontline workers is paramount and our officers will take action against those who think it is acceptable to take their tension and anxiety out on hardworking staff. Aggression or abuse of any kind will not be tolerated and we will use the full power of the law to apprehend perpetrators.
"Pharmacies are providing an essential service and we must all be mindful of the significant pressure their teams are facing by practising patience and kindness. Violence or abuse should never be accepted as part of any job."
Pharmacy workers are protected under the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018. Those breaking the law face tough penalties including a maximum of 12 months' imprisonment.
The PDA has developed a new resource pack to help pharmacists protect staff which is available at: https://www.the-pda.org/pda-increase-action-on-campaign-to-end-violence-in-pharmacies/
Tonight we go out to clap for our carers and key workers - those who are putting their lives at risk to keep us safe.
Tonight we go out to clap for our carers and key workers - those who are putting their lives at risk to keep us safe. When this pandemic is over, we can’t go back to business as usual with people left underpaid and undervalued. We owe them more than that. #ClapForOurCarersPosted by Keir Starmer on Thursday, 16 April 2020
Following comments from Cllr Oakes on social media, which we utterly condemn, the Amber Valley Labour group withdrew the whip this morning, and can announce this now that the whip has spoken to Cllr Oakes.
This means that Cllr Oakes does not currently sit as a Labour Councillor, and further due process will follow.
We wish the Prime Minister, and all who are suffering this awful disease, a speedy recovery and send love and solidarity to them and their families.
It would be inappropriate to comment further until due process has taken its course.
"As leader of the Council & Labour Group I am appalled and very disappointed by the comments posted on Facebook by Cllr Sheila Oakes. There is no place in politics for personal and hurtful comments no matter how angry you are.
I asked Cllr Oakes to remove the comments and apologise immediately after it was brought to my attention. In no circumstances can I or the Labour Group condone this sort of behaviour, it is not in being with the standards expected in Public Life or Office.
A full investigation will take place and appropriate action will be taken in line with the Labour Party rules and regulations".
Cllr Chris Emmas-Williams
Leader of the Labour Group
The Waste Collection service are still collecting bins throughout the Borough as best as resources are allowing, but the decision not to collect Green Waste has had to be implemented from March 30th due to self isolating of some staff and we wish them all well.
We are trying to keep up to date with all the new legislation regarding Finance for businesses across the Borough and processing these claims along with all Housing and Council Tax benefits as well. Officers and Members have been involved in conferencing with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the District Councillors Network discussing the lack of PPE for Social Workers and others on the front line who are doing an amazing job.
Some of our staff, where able, are working from home with only staff who have to use critical work information still coming into the offices but this is very fluent.
We recognise the difficulties, sacrifices and financial hardships that people in Amber Valley are suffering. Whilst we are administrating the Government Grant scheme for small businesses with premises, we know that there are many who fall in the gaps and the loopholes in support schemes, and we are lobbying Government to ask them to help everyone during these trying times. We extend our thanks to all shop workers, postal workers and delivery people, carers and helpers and every single person working hard to keep things going. It is heartening to see communities coming together to support each other, and may this long continue when these times are but a distant memory.
Lastly I want to thank all our partners the Police, Fire, Ambulance and all the NHS staff who on a daily basis are risking their own health for the benefit of all of us. We must all listen and carry out the instructions and Government advice that residents should not leave home unless it is for physical exercise, medical need, necessary travelling to work or shopping for basic necessities. If not stay at home and keep safe.
Thank you for all your support
Switch on for additional CCTV cameras in Amber ValleyFour new state-of-the-art CCTV cameras are now operating in Amber Valley to assist police in their mission to reduce and deter crime in the towns of Alfreton, Belper, Heanor and Ripley.
Like the existing cameras, which were upgraded recently, the new cameras have powerful zoom-in features, meaning they can cover a remarkably wide area. They deliver high-resolution images to a control room which is monitored 24/7. There is one new camera in each town as part of this first phase.
The cameras are also re-deployable, meaning their location can be moved dependent on changes in infrastructure and crime hotspots.
Commented Amber Valley Borough Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration and community safety, Councillor Ben Bellamy: "This increase in CCTV cameras has been carried out as a direct result of feedback we have received from the borough’s residents, and has been delivered as promised. Anyone who thinks about committing crime or anti-social behaviour in our borough should think again. In phase two, we will be looking at extending the CCTV network in partnership with parish councils, to provide more peace of mind to residents in all communities and additional support to the police in prosecuting criminal acts."
Getting petition signed 24 January 2020 at Alfreton Station
Labour Councillors and members are furious about the proposed slashing of Alfreton and Langey Mill London services. We were out and about early telling commuters about our petition - over 3500 people have signed now!
On Wednesday 27th January 2020 there was a full council in Ripley Town Hall at 7pm, where we will be moving a motion to try and get them to change their minds!
More to follow