Lancashire Police officers told not to download Covid-19 app on work phones as downloads top 12m

Lancashire Police officers are being told not to download the coronavirus contact tracing app on their work phones.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 11:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 11:30 am

The force said it was following the guidance of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) following the NHS Covid-19 app's launch last Thursday for England and Wales.

However, it said they are free to download the application on their personal phones "should they choose to do so".

The NPCC, which denied suggestions the move was a result of "security implications", said: "Police forces use a variety of mobile devices with different system restrictions.

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The new NHS Covid-19 mobile application (Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Danny Lawson)

“It is important that we have confidence that the NHS app will work for officers and staff consistently across the country, and it is for this reason that we have recommended that officers and staff download the app to their personal as opposed to work devices, rather than any suggestion of security implications.”

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed what he called “the fastest download of an app in British history” having reached 12.4 million downloads by midday on Monday.

“I would urge everybody, including every single member in this House, to join the 12.4 million,” Mr Hancock said.

The app uses Bluetooth technology to keep a tab of close proximity encounters with other people and informing them if one later tests positive for the virus.

The app is in the number one spot in both iOS and Android app stores.

Lancashire Police said in a statement: "The health and wellbeing of our officers, staff and the public remains our priority.

"Members of staff, like all members of the public, are personally able to download the Track and Trace application should they choose to do so.

"Guidance provided to staff within the workplace remains in line with the national NPCC position."