‘Celebrate VE Day 75 this Friday 8 May at home’, that’s the plea from Hertfordshire’s county council, 10 district and borough councils, emergency services and our local NHS.
Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) – a partnership of over 60 organisations including the emergency services, local councils, health services and volunteers, which plans, trains and responds to emergencies together – have been working to coordinate the county’s approach to COVID-19.
Darryl Keen, Director of Community Protection, Chief Fire Officer and chair of the strategic coordination group of the LRF, said: “Every organisation in Hertfordshire’s LRF agrees we must ask residents to keep up the fabulous job of social distancing this bank holiday weekend and beyond, while lockdown restrictions remain in place.
“We know it’s not what people would want to do as Friday is a very special date in our history, but we’ve all come so far and we need to continue to stay at home and save lives. We know changes are afoot as we progress through the different stages of dealing with this awful pandemic but nothing has changed yet and as a county we need to keep it up.”
“VE Day represents a matter of national pride and celebration, as well as an opportunity to consider and thank those who fought so bravely for our freedom,” said Assistant Chief Constable Nathan Briant, who is leading Hertfordshire Constabulary’s response to COVID-19.
“I fully appreciate that everyone would prefer to celebrate this landmark date with families and friends, but sadly the current situation makes this impossible. It is vital that people continue to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines at this time. As a community we have come too far to risk any setbacks, and only by continuing our efforts can we hope to save lives and hasten the removal of the restrictions.
“Our officers will be on patrol as usual in parks and open spaces around the county. Their role there is primarily public safety, as we try to reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread. Officers will always seek to engage with people and encourage compliance with the regulations, but where necessary for the benefit of the wider public, we will take enforcement action if required.”
While we will have extra patrols, if you are concerned that you have seen a gathering which contravenes the guidance, we would encourage you to contact the police using our online reporting methods. This will help to relieve some of the pressure on our emergency lines and resources, and allow for a quicker response to urgent 999 calls. We really appreciate your co-operation and would like to thank everyone for their support so far. Our online reporting can be accessed at herts.police.uk/contact or herts.police.uk/report
Cllr Pervez Choudhury, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Hertsmere Borough Council, said: "The day is our chance to say thank you and remember the incredible sacrifices made by a generation who gave so much during the Second World War. We are asking residents to make a small sacrifice and stay home.
"We can use this time of reflection to think about the courage and sacrifice our key workers make everyday to fight the coronavirus pandemic. However you choose to mark this day, whether quietly in your home, on your own front door step or connecting virtually with loved ones, I hope you can participate and join in this nationwide day of remembrance.”
Watch a video from the Mayor of Hertsmere: https://youtu.be/phKh8_7CZnY
There are online resources available from the VE Day website: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/
Posted on Thursday 7th May 2020