Following the Government's announcement yesterday the country will stay in lockdown for at least an additional three weeks. For parents across the country this has likely meant having to explain to our children and young people about Covid-19.
This will have no doubt included having to answer many questions on why they can't spend time with family or grandparents, why they cannot go out to play with friends and why they cannot go to school.
The current situation we're in can be difficult for any of us to comprehend let alone trying to explain to a young person the significant risks of something we cannot see or touch.
Wiltshire Police have seen that, in the majority, parents and young people have been following the social distancing measures put in place by the Government across the county. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you. As a parent, grandparent and PCC I appreciate how difficult your role is at the moment, with many of you also trying to balance your parental responsibilities and a change in lifestyle, along with home schooling and work.
Recognising that this time is going to be more difficult for parents, the Wiltshire Police Early Intervention team have added information to the Wiltshire Police website which signposts to support agencies who are there to help.
For many families staying at home is probably one of the toughest challenges we have had to face, but it is so important in our collective fight against Covid-19, to save lives and protect the NHS.
With more of us staying at home it is so easy to turn to the internet for social interaction, education and work. With increased time online comes increased risk, and last week Superintendent Ben Mant from the Public Protection Department wrote an open letter to parents to appeal to them to talk to their children about risks they are facing online.
As we increase our activity online so do those who seek to cause us harm through fraud, scamming, grooming and child sexual exploitation. The Force Digital Investigations and Intelligence Unit are keeping a watchful eye on these and have been offering guidance on social media but will continue to support with further advice when necessary.
It is another difficult conversation I know, but in this current climate where so many people are spending increased time online unsupervised it is so important we have difficult conversations that will give our children and young people the skills to identify risk, to stop and think when something doesn't feel right, and to ask for help when they need it. Advice and guidance to help with those difficult conversations is available on the Wiltshire Police website.
Let's all continue to do everything we can to help keep people safe, protect the NHS, and save lives.