More than 125 police officers have been move to the frontline in Cornwall and Devon this week as the force steps up its efforts to keep people safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

At the same time, members of the public are asked to "think twice" before calling police so that officers are able to respond to the most pressing matters.

And the public has been asked to "be patient" if they report lower-level crimes, as it may take longer for officers to follow them up.

However, they have also been reassured that there are "no types of crime which we will not respond to."

A police spokesperson said priority would be given to maintaining public order, situations of violence or where life is in danger and where a vulnerable person is involved.

Since lockdown was introduced on Monday, police have seen a "significant" reduction in reports of some crimes, including evening incidents and driving offences, although domestic abuse has increased.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Requests for police attendance and the investigations of crimes will be ranked on a basis of the threat, risk and harm and will be responded to proportionately.

“When policing is under strain, from either demand or capacity issues, some services will have to be reduced – such as historic investigations that have a low risk attached to them. We will always focus on core policing and serious and violent crime.”

A statement from the force went on to say: "Members of the public are asked to think twice before they contact the force so officers are able to respond to the most pressing matters."

The force is asking people to follow the latest advice on staying at home to reduce spread of the virus and demand on the NHS.

Officers have been speaking to people in public spaces and residents are warned that they may be asked about their reasons for being out in public.

“It is vital that victims of crime understand that there are no types of crime which we will not respond to or log and we will not stop arresting people,” the spokesperson added.

“We are set up, with tried and tested business continuity procedures, to respond with partners to precisely these situations. In the past fortnight the force has demonstrated that it can make rapid and positive changes to the way it operates to respond to a major incident.

“We will continue our day-to-day policing and will be visible in our communities. If we come across people choosing to break the rules set up to protect society’s most vulnerable, we will take action.”

Amongst the 125 officers being redeployed in the past week, 40 have been instructed to handle phone calls and sergeants have been given custody training.

More incidents will be handled over the phone, email and police website to reduce the risk to staff and the public of spreading the virus, and the public will be asked to be patient as the force may take more time to follow up reports relating to lower-level crimes.

The statement goes on to say: "Please think carefully before contacting the police and unless an emergency - for which you should still call 999 - consider reporting online at or using webchat before calling the 101 non-emergency reporting tool."

Crimes can be reported anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Victims of crime can receive practical and emotional support by getting in touch with the Devon and Cornwall victim care unit via the website or calling 01392 475900.