• High Sheriff of Surrey

Seeing for Myself - Surrey's Heroes in Action.


I recently joined the Lord Lieutenant on a visit to Surrey Police HQ to spend the few hours with Chief Constable Gavin Stephens and see the Strategic Team and the Tactical Team in action managing Covid-19. We saw the true partnership between Public, Private and Tri-services (Army-Navy-Air Force) along with retired officers who have volunteered their services with their vast experience. It gave me huge confidence that whilst in these unchartered waters that we are in safe hands.

It was also encouraging to learn how the public have come forward to help - whilst at the meeting the operation team were receiving calls from Surrey University offering hundreds of students for volunteer services to the cause. Vice-Chancellor Max Lu also converted part of the veterinary school into a temporary mortuary .. fantastic effort and support from Surrey University.

We listened to retired Assistant Chief Constable - Jerry Kirby and his team who talked about how handling a number of deaths in Surrey attributed to Covid-19 as well as other deaths, dealing with funeral directors, multi-faith groups, burial services providers, the Coroner and dealing compassionately with deceased family during these challenging times.

Chris Moon spoke about leading the Logistics on working nationally on PPE procurement, which is not an easy task and also Peter Gillett who is controlling the finances.

I was given an overview from Assistant Chief constable, Jon Savill regarding identifying and checking n around 21,000 people that have not responded to the NHS vulnerable list, fantastic meticulous work being carried out by Police to ensure nobody is left out.

It was great to see the Army led by Laura along with Royal Navy and Royal Airforce being part of the Strategic and Tactical team. On a lighter note, it was Capt. Philips 33rd birthday, but was sacrificing, like many others their time supporting the team.

All of the above was lead by Gold Team, which includes Joanna Killian from SCC, Gavin Stephens Surrey Police along with Steve Owen-Hughes from Surrey Fire Brigade.

It was evident that there so many individuals here in Surrey who were providing vital support for the community during this crisis. I have used many words such as “amazing”, Fantastic, compassionately, sacrificing, but these words are inadequate to describe the work, commitment and dedication provided by not just the above, but many groups in and around Surrey, to all the unsung heroes, we are truly indebted to you. Thank You all!

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