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London police reassure elderly amid pandemic


In the suburbs of south London, police are paying special visits to vulnerable elderly and isolated people in the community at risk from scams and loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.

This morning, uniformed and gloved officers Simon Hardwick and Liam Hack spend ten minutes talking to Gwendalyn Iles on the doorstep of her red brick house, being mindful to stay three meters away.

The 94-year-old stoic resident of Croydon, south London, says the outbreak "doesn't really bother me". She still goes out occasionally to do her shopping.  
"Other than that, I talk to the cat and that's it," she tells AFP, appearing appreciative of the opportunity to have a chat with the two officers.
The cop duo have spent the past few weeks roaming the area's streets in a vehicle specially chartered for the scheme, called Operation Nogi, talking to vulnerable people like Iles. 

"It [has] served a purpose to prevent them from becoming victims or further victims of crime, to provide them with some reassurance," said Hack.
He added their interactions with some people were the first that the residents had had since a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was introduced in late March.

"So I think it's incredibly important that now, more than ever, we're getting out and meeting these people."


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