The chairman of Wiltshire Police Federation has raised concerns about officers not having enough personal protective equipment.

Mark Andrews said: “Police officers are being asked to encourage and if necessary enforce social distancing - to try and save lives. Within that we need to ensure that our health and safety are also being adequately cared for.

“I think we have all seen in the news there appears to be a shortage of effective personal protection equipment (PPE) for emergency service workers.

“The emphasis at the moment is on our NHS who are working so hard for us and it is only right they are looked after. However I have concerns about the police officers I represent in Wiltshire as the longer this crisis continues our stocks of PPE will dwindle.

“This will leave us unable to maintain our own safety whilst continuing to help the community and deal with criminals who would do us harm.”

He said he had been reassured by meetings with Wiltshire Police bosses that efforts were being made to ensure there was enough PPE. But he called on the government to remove hurdles.

His comments follow fears about the availability of PPE for frontline health workers and NHS staff. The army has been drafted in to deliver kit to hospitals, doctors' surgeries, pharmacies and care homes.