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Police make all officers 'uniform-ready' in Brexit planning and fears of fall-out from fuel shortages

Police officers on patrol in Yarmouth. Picture: Nick Butcher

Police officers on patrol in Yarmouth. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Detectives within Norfolk Police have been warned to be 'uniform ready' to potentially assist front-line policing duties in the event of a fall-out from a no deal Brexit, in particular fears of fuel shortages.

Making all officers within the force ‘uniform-ready’ to bolster the front line when needed has been discussed within Norfolk Constabulary since US president Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in July last year.

At the time officers from across East Anglia were seconded to help with policing the London visit, which also clashed with Latitude Festival in Suffolk and the World Cup Final.

However, we understand that all levels of officer have been told to remain uniform-ready in the event of a no-deal Brexit, while a police spokeswoman said the force has “contingency plans in place for a number of eventualities”

A source told us: “Detectives who have not had to get their uniforms ready for years are dusting them down. There appears to be particular concern over the possible impact of any fuel shortages.”

Norfolk Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said the policy has been discussed for some time and enables the force to put “all hands to the pump”.

“Going forward plain clothes officers will have the ability to deploy in uniform with equipment if required,” said a spokesman. “That is the plan.

“We have a greater demand on our officers than they can meet without the assistance of all parts of the constabulary when it comes to large-scale or unplanned events - it is all hands to the pump.

“What can happen is we could have a local derby football match at the same time as a Royal visit. Those are unknowns. They could each be dealt with on an individual basis but when they come together we can utilise staff we would not normally call upon.

“That would only be emergency situations really.

“We are all police officers and the public would expect everyone to be available if needed in uniform showing a presence.”

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “We have contingency plans in place for a number of eventualities.

“As part of this planning and in recognition of the need to maintain frontline resourcing levels, we’ve made sure that officers in plain-clothed units have access to uniforms, which many already have as a result of their previous roles.”

The Norfolk Resilience Forum (NRF), which brings together councils, Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Norfolk police and others, has been co-ordinating planning for different Brexit outcomes, including a no-deal, to cut the impact of any disruption.

Stuart Ruff, the forum’s chair, said: “As part of the risk planning process, all partners have, and continue to, review its critical activities and assess the risk to all areas we serve.”

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