Calling on Havering residents to become Covid Marshals

Havering Council is looking for residents to become Covid Marshals to help in the borough’s fight against coronavirus.

One of their main roles would be talking to other residents, encouraging the wearing of face coverings [to those who are not exempt] and social distancing as well helping people understand and comply with current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Council believes that many residents with their local knowledge of their communities would be an asset in helping others. They would work in pairs with another experienced Marshal on patrol.

Blue9 is the company recruiting on behalf of the Council and the role will be advertised by Jobcentre Plus.

Residents must be aged 18 or over, are not shielding and have good physical capability to patrol different areas of the borough. They will need to be comfortable in engaging with the general public and can read and write.

They will receive full training from Blue9 and a chance to gain a SIA [Security Industry Authority] licence.

While the role of a Covid Marshal is currently a temporary position, there could be further permanent job opportunities.

To apply, residents need to send a covering letter and CV to anthony@blue9security.co.uk

Since they were introduced in the borough in November last year, Havering’s Marshals have spoken to over 43,000 people in supporting the Council’s fight against the pandemic.

They have been deployed in areas where the Council has seen and has received the most concerns about non-compliance, including in parks , shopping parades, town centres, bus stops and around schools, plus, more recently, supporting supermarkets.

So far, they have been:

  • Ensuring businesses have visible signage in their premises to encourage compliance of face covering and social distancing
  • Entering supermarkets, with the permission of the manager, to encourage the correct wearing of face coverings.
  • Supporting the mobile testing unit sites and Lateral Flow Test sites with any queue management if needed.
  • Explaining coronavirus restrictions in detail to people
  • Distributing leaflets containing information and guidance

Though the Marshals have no formal enforcement powers, they can escalate breaches and issues where non-compliance continues, to the Council’s Public Protection Team or the police who have the authority to take enforcement action, which could include a penalty of between £200 and £10,000.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“We are looking for residents to join us in the role of a Covid Marshal, where they will play a key role in our front line response to tackling this terrible virus.

“With local knowledge and understanding of their communities, they would be an important addition in helping us to? do that.

“The Marshals are on patrol in our communities to offer reassurance to people. They are there to explain the regulations, providing guidance and support including encouraging the wearing of face coverings and if necessary, refer issues to other Council teams or the Police.

“Feedback from the Marshals shows over 80 per cent of people they have spoken to, have been very positive of their presence and are supportive of what the Council is trying to do to support residents.

 “This information helps the Council and its partners, like the police, to consider new and different ways of responding and the best way of using our resources to help everyone stay safer.

 “We all need to work together to do our bit and beat coronavirus in Havering.”

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