Coronavirus: New marshals to patrol Peterborough’s streets thanks to government funding

Three marshals are already in post with more being currently recruited and the group are due to be on the streets in November.

They will be deployed into hotspot areas and offer advice to the public, making them aware of restrictions such as social distancing and face mask wearing.

Marshals are not being granted any specific powers, but as they will be council officers they will have access to local authority legislation. For example, the council has the power to deal with businesses who fail to follow Covid-19 compliance measures.

The marshals will work very closely with the police to report breaches and to request action either at the time or retrospectively. The marshals do not have the power to deal with breaches outside businesses such as people on the streets or in their homes. These instances would be police matters.

The council marshals will also be supported by volunteer marshals for specific events where it is appropriate, for example, these volunteers were used for the re-opening of shops back in the summer.

Rob Hill, the council’s assistant director for community safety, said: “Our overriding priority is to keep our city and communities safe and we welcome the additional grant from government to enable us to continue the positive strides we have already made.

“We already have officers out on our streets in the areas where we know from data that we have the highest risk.

“While most of these patrols are advisory and are resulting in improved engagement and understanding, there are instances where we are taking enforcement action against businesses and people on the street not adhering to the rules. These measures will continue and be boosted by the marshals.

“Since the start of the pandemic the council has been leading a Rapid Response Team (RRT) which is overseeing all of our local outbreak activity and working together to limit the spread of the virus in Peterborough. The marshals will sit within this team and work alongside the other initiatives we are using, such as community engagement and education.

“They will help in the planning of public events – giving organisers health advice and will support pop-up testing centres and the newly opened centre on Gladstone Street. They will also support contact tracing in Peterborough where our work has seen us achieve consistently higher contact with people who the national scheme had been unable to reach. We currently have around a 90 per cent success rate.”

Page 1 of 3

Peterborough Telegraph