Police told not to download NHS Covid-19 app

By Rory Cellan-Jones
Expertise correspondent

Associated Matters

  • Coronavirus pandemic


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The Nationwide Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has confirmed officers are being instructed to not set up the NHS Covid-19 app on their work smartphones.

The app detects when customers have been in proximity to somebody with the virus.

Some officers have additionally been instructed they might not must obey self-isolate alerts generated by the app when downloaded to their private telephones.

Lancashire Constabulary has instructed workers to name the pressure’s personal Covid-19 helpline as a substitute.

The BBC contacted the North-West of England pressure after a supply mentioned the recommendation had been given due to “safety causes”.

The supply additionally mentioned officers had been instructed to not carry their private telephones whereas on responsibility if that they had activated the app.

This is applicable to workers working in public-facing roles in addition to these in back-office positions.

“The well being and wellbeing of our officers, workers and the general public stays our precedence,” a Lancashire Constabulary spokeswoman subsequently instructed the BBC.

“Members of workers, like all members of the general public, are personally capable of obtain the Observe and Hint software ought to they select to take action. Steerage supplied to workers inside the office stays in step with the nationwide NPCC place.”

The NPCC confirmed the work-phones coverage was widespread to all forces, however mentioned it was finishing up an pressing evaluate of the matter.

“Now we have been taking time to evaluate the specs of the app to evaluate the implications for policing,” added a spokesman.

The council would possibly drop the coverage as quickly as Tuesday.

  • NHS Covid-19 app: 12m downloads – and plenty of questions

  • App difficulty mounted for individuals who check optimistic
  • First model of app labored on extra telephones
  • Contact-tracing app launches for England and Wales
picture captionMembers of the general public are being urged to obtain the app to guard themselves and others

NHS Covid-19 launched final Thursday, since when it has been downloaded greater than 12 million instances.

Along with contact-tracing, it additionally presents a approach for customers to scan codes after they enter a constructing to log they had been there, in addition to a way to verify if they’ve signs of the coronavirus and to order a check.

The NPCC had beforehand raised issues about officers sharing data with human contact tracers on the grounds it may compromise undercover work and different delicate operations.

However because the app is designed to maintain individuals’s identities secret, this shouldn’t be an issue on this case.

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