A serving Metropolitan Police officer, who had been shielding at home and working remotely, has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
PC Michael Warren, 37, was attached to the force’s Territorial Support Group (TSG) and was shielding due to being deemed clinically vulnerable to coronavirus.
He died on Tuesday morning, the Met Police confirmed.
PC Warren’s death comes amid calls for police officers to be prioritised in the COVID vaccine rollout.
Watch: WHO: Vaccinate most vulnerable people worldwide first
Paying tribute to PC Warren, Met Taskforce chief superintendent Karen Findlay said: “He was very much motivated to return to frontline duties, and he regularly spoke about how he looked forward to putting his uniform back on and going out on patrol with his colleagues.
“His death is a bitterly stark and upsetting reminder of the human impact of this virus, I know we will all miss him dearly.”
The government is facing calls for police officers to be included in the next wave of COVID vaccinations.
Police Federation of England and Wales chairman John Apter said he is “pleading” with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to prioritise police officers.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Apter said: “Let me just put this into context: this is not about elbowing our way to the front of the queue.
“The most vulnerable in society must be vaccinated, and colleagues from the NHS, but my colleagues are vulnerable. They can’t mitigate this virus, they are not immune from this virus.
“Tragically, in this last week alone, we’ve lost colleagues to this virus. Police officers are up close and personal with people, they have to go hands-on, they have to make arrests.
“I am pleading with the vaccination committee to look at my colleagues, as well as teachers and firefighters … my colleagues are at risk.
“Also we’re having more and more of them who are off sick through COVID, or they’re having to self-isolate, so there’s fewer of them available to deal with the pressures that we have so it is a real, real issue for us.”
His comments come after Britain’s most senior police chief, Metropolitan police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, said she was “baffled” by the government’s decision not to prioritise frontline police officers for vaccines despite her repeated requests to ministers.
Dorset Police Federation also called for police to receive priority vaccines after an officer was hospitalised with COVID-19 after being present at an anti-lockdown rally in Bournemouth.
Watch: What is long COVID?