Covid-19 Enforcement: Utilising Funding and Existing Solutions to Protect Your Community
In addition to the many challenges presented by Covid-19, local authority staff have recently found themselves facing the challenge of managing ‘Covid secure marshals’ to enforce new legislation in relation to the pandemic.
With the new lockdown in England announced from November 5, this situation has now been thrown into even more of a spotlight.
But while any additional workload may be unwelcome at present, there is at least some good news: councils are able to access emergency funding to support this requirement, and can actually harness proven technology to manage its delivery.
First off, let’s examine the funding situation: New regulations laid before parliament make councils responsible for ensuring businesses serving the public are collecting contact details and maintaining social distancing measures.
To fund this requirement, local councils can access a share of an additional £60 million ‘surge funding’ to increase their compliance work and enforcement checks on businesses.
It is suggested that this funding can be accessed by enforcement officers such as Environmental Health Officers, who are responsible for explaining and encouraging businesses and communities to follow the latest guidelines, carrying out inspections, issuing fines and closing premises in the case of non-compliance.
Some local authorities are addressing this situation by deploying trained environmental officers as temporary ‘Covid secure marshals’ who undertake patrols and enforce social distancing rules in public spaces.
Fortunately, environmental officers can access existing Environmental Enforcement technology to manage these requirements. Such technology, which is already used to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) can be easily adapted to ensure compliance with Covid-19 legislation.
In this way, environmental officers are able to easily issue FPNs via smartphone applications, reducing administrative effort and data entry errors. Full integration with the back office ensures that all required evidence is captured and flows through, and payments can be processed automatically either by telephone or online.
Finally, where authorities lack the resources to manage these processes themselves, Imperial can offer full end-to end processing, which completely removes the admin associated with managing all aspects of FPNs, from enforcement through to appeals and payment.
Best of all, because these tools are already available and fully proven, they can be implemented quickly and without risk to the council.
The government’s surge funding is currently a short-term solution, provided over the next four months, so it is vital that local authorities act quickly if they wish to take advantage.
Organisations that already use Imperial solutions for Environmental Enforcement or Parking Management are ideally positioned to take advantage.
With the basis of the system already installed and working alongside all other daily processes, it could be reconfigured in a matter of minutes, avoiding the risk and months of development associated with implementing a completely new solution.
If your council is interested in accessing funding to support the enforcement of Covid-19 legislation, please get in touch now.