LOCAL police officers will be heading for London and Dorset today as all 52 UK forces help with security for the 2012 Olympic Games.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime complex operation and planning began in 2010. All forces have worked with Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, the National Olympic Security Coordinator to resource the 105-day long national policing operation, which began with the start of the torch relay on June 4 and officially ends on September 16.
l LINCOLNSHIRE Police are sending a total of 170 officers - although not all at the same time.
A spokesman said this week that this had always been the plan and nothing had changed in light of G4S being unable to recruit sufficient numbers of security staff.
Senior press officer Dick Holmes said some officers would be helping out more than once.
“We are not expecting more than 30 to be involved on any given day and generally there will be fewer than that,” he said.
Some officers will travel down for the day and some will stay in the London area. Among those going will be dog handlers, armed response officers, close protection officers, divers, search teams and some explosives search dogs.
As all police leave during the Olympic period was cancelled some time ago there will be more police personnel on duty throughout the county than is usual at this time of year.
“Because of that we will cope as normal and should there be a major incident in the county we have contingency plans ready. We have had plenty of time to plan this,” Mr Holmes said.
l NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Police will provide officers for a total of 47 days. The majority will assist the Metropolitan Police in London, but also in Dorset where the sailing events are being held.
The daily commitment will range from a maximum of 82 officers to as few as two. A total of 198 officers are involved, including the public order unit, dog section and firearms unit. As well as annual leave being restricted, non-essential training has been postponed and Special Constables and volunteers will play a role.
Assistant Chief Constable Martin Jelley said: “The Olympic Games is the largest pre-planned peace time operation that many of us will ever see. I am extremely confident that we are fully prepared to play our role in supporting the national Olympic commitment.
“We have taken steps to maintain levels of local policing and communities can be assured that we will still respond quickly and effectively when they need us.”
l CAMBRIDGESHIRE Constabulary has been working with national colleagues to help resource the games while also ensuring that core policing for its communities continues.
Cambridgeshire will provide officers for a total of 50 days. mainly assisting the Metropolitan and Dorset forces. The daily commitment will range from 178 officers to as few as one. The majority will be general beat officers but some specialists are also involved.
ACC Mark Hopkins said: “This will be the largest ever pre-planned policing operation and we are keen to assist with the Games, however, I’d like to reassure residents we will be maintaining local policing.
“It is an exciting opportunity for officers to be involved in the policing of public events on the world stage. Cambridgeshire is considered a donor force and the number of officers assisting is proportionate to the size of our force.”
l LEICESTERSHIRE Police, which covers Rutland, will provide officers for a total of 61 days, the majority assisting the Metropolitan Police and Dorset Police. The daily commitment will vary, ranging from a maximum of 108 officers to as few as two. The total number involved is 305, mainly general beat officers but some specialist skilled officers including firearms, roads policing and public order searching with dogs. As elsewhere, annual leave has been restricted, non-essential training has been postponed and the Special Constabulary and volunteers will play a part. Current service levels will remain for response times and neighbourhood policing.
ACC Steph Morgan said: “The start of the Olympics came early for us with Leicestershire and Rutland being chosen for the torch relay dress rehearsal in April. There is a feeling of pride that we are contributing to an event that will not only showcase our country but our police service as well.”