Fears that Donald Trump’s UK visit will heap pressure on ‘stretched’ Norfolk police

PUBLISHED: 08:36 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:47 01 July 2018

US President Donald Trump. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images.

US President Donald Trump. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

The need for Norfolk police to help keep law and order in London during the UK visit of United States president Donald Trump will stretch the force and could affect the health of officers, it has been warned.

Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy SymondsAndy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy Symonds

Plans for next month’s visit of the president are still being finalised, but national police chiefs have signalled they could need to call on this region to provide officers, with protests expected in the capital.

Rest days have been cancelled and Andy Symonds, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation says detectives are being asked to plug the gaps created when officers are called to London.

Mr Symonds said: “There will be a significant number called to London and I know we are struggling to resource it. Detectives are being called and asked if they’ve still got their uniforms and body armour, because they will be needed to provide cover.

“Rest days have been cancelled and these are officers who have already got leave embargoes in place over the summer.

“I am worried about what impact this could have on their health. Generally most only get two weekends off in every 10 weeks and it’s frustrating they are having to cancel their rest days.

“We are stretched already and when you get an operation like this, which isn’t even a state visit, it is really going to stretch us.

“We will be able to safely police the county, but only because officers will be working on what would have been their rest days.

“And it’s going to mean a backlog for detectives, because they’re going to have to be out there in uniform, rather than detecting crimes.”

Mr Symonds said the timing of the visit, from Thursday, July 12 is especially unfortunate, as it will clash with the World Cup Final and the Latitude Festival in Suffolk, which could both put pressure on police in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said: “As with any large scale police operation there is likely to be a requirement for forces to support each other by providing officers on mutual aid to deliver the operations.

“With all operations of this nature, it is possible that some rest days and annual leave will be cancelled.”

Norfolk Constabulary did not want to add to the statement from the NPCC.

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