County council workers supporting vulnerable residents abused and accused of spreading coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 18:00 31 March 2020

John Hart, leader of Devon County Council. Picture: Devon County Council

John Hart, leader of Devon County Council. Picture: Devon County Council


Council staff have been abused and accused of spreading the coronavirus while supporting vulnerable people, the leader of Devon County Council has said.

Councillor John Hart said the authority is in contact with police over the abuse some of their staff have received for carrying out their roles in supporting vulnerable residents.

He said: “We are in direct contact with the police over the small minority of ignorant people who have been abusing our staff and accusing them of spreading the virus while they are working to support some of our most vulnerable people who may well have no one else to help them.

“We will not tolerate this type of behaviour and we will not hesitate to support the police in prosecuting them.”

Cllr Hart said hundreds of council workers in Devon are operating as another emergency service during the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the way staff have responded to the crisis in so many different ways over the past few weeks.

“Team Devon is on the front line of the battle against this virus.

“This has been a huge out-of-normal-hours effort by everyone involved and provisions have now arrived in Devon ready for immediate distribution by our district colleagues.

“It is just one example of how we are supporting NHS staff in their valiant efforts to control this deadly disease.”

Cllr Hart praised the headteachers and staff who are working over the Easter holidays to provide care and support for the children of key workers like doctors and nurses, and people working in food distribution.

He said: “This is just another excellent example of real dedication on the part of the people of Devon in helping to keep the services available for those who need it.

“We are also working with the district, town and parish councils in a way that I can only call Team Devon. There is a tremendous community spirit existing across Devon to support those who need help, be they young or old and especially the vulnerable.”

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