March 20, 2020 / 12:25 PM / in 12 days

UK police ask firms to give paid leave for volunteer officers to help with coronavirus

LONDON (Reuters) - British police on Friday asked employers to consider giving paid leave to more than 10,000 volunteer officers to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said the service was likely to come under increasing strain as the virus spreads and Special Constables - volunteer officers who have the same powers as regular police - could help fill gaps caused by sickness and staff who needed to self-isolate.

“We appreciate that this would be placing a further burden on businesses who are already suffering the economic impact of this virus, and we do not make this appeal lightly,” said Martin Hewitt, chairman of the NPCC.

“Businesses who are able to release their staff to undertake these important roles will be supporting the national effort against Covid-19 by helping us to maintain services and keep people safe.”

Reporting by Michael Holden. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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