The Police Federation of England and Wales has warned of the “unquestionable pressure” that the Presidential visit is placing on “a service already creaking at its knees.”
Simon Kempton, Operational Policing Lead for PFEW said while Donald Trump’s visit had been in the planning for some time, the impact it was having on forces and routine policing was being felt keenly at local level in parts of the country.
“I, and my colleagues at the Federation, have been involved since Mr Trump confirmed his plans to visit working to ensure that the welfare of our officers who will be working away from home, covering additional hours and over periods when they have had their days off cancelled; and that they are paid for what they do.
“Thousands of officers will be deployed from their home forces as part of mutual aid agreements, which are an important element of policing in this country to allow our resources to be flexibly and where they are needed most.
“However the fact cannot be ignored that while the officers on mutual aid are deployed elsewhere thousands more of their colleagues left behind in their home force will be expected to pick up the slack leaving them even more stretched. There was a time when we could do it all but now choices have to be made – we cannot do it all and this type of event puts a service which is already creaking at its knees under unquestionable pressure.
“During this time we are likely to become a merely reactive service – and we may struggle to even be that – and that is all before you throw into the mix that the Football World Cup is also happening over the same time period.
“Events this week in Amesbury, which have added to the increasing Mutual Aid demand, demonstrate how important it is that British policing remains able to adequately respond to protect the public when major incidents occur.
“You have to ask what would happen if were unable to resource incidents like these. Would we see the situation where the military were drafted in place of police officers? Green uniforms instead of the blue ones people would – and should – expect to see? It’s a worrying prospect.”
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