Belfast Telegraph

Nearly 1000 police officers on standby to deal with Northern Ireland Brexit border issues

Police are training for deployment in Northern Ireland.
Police are training for deployment in Northern Ireland.

Nearly 1000 English and Scottish police officers are set to begin training for deployment to Northern Ireland in case of disorder resulting from a no-deal Brexit.

The Guardian has reported that the plans have been put in place after PSNI bosses put out an appeal for more riot-trained police officers from other parts of the UK in anticipation of potential disruption following Brexit.

The PSNI regularly receives support from officers in other parts of the UK during the marching season.

It is understood an email sent to police forces across the UK has asked for officers with "level 2 public order training" to volunteer to assist the PSNI ahead of Britain leaving the EU in March.

Three training days are scheduled to take place ahead of March 29, the day Britain will leave the EU.

The purpose of the training being provided is to give officers the capabilities to carry out the type of policing operations which are more usual in Northern Ireland.

In a statement a PSNI spokesman said: "PSNI are working closely with other UK policing partners in our planning processes.

“While there is, as yet, no indication that mutual aid will be required, preparations for mutual aid form part of our ongoing planning work.

"Planning around mutual aid is something that happens every year across policing and if required, the provision of mutual aid to police services is provided through the National Police Co-ordination Centre.”

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton warned last year that if border posts and security installations were created as a result of a hard Brexit that they would be seen as "fair game" for attack by dissident republicans.

“The last thing we would want is any infrastructure around the border because there is something symbolic about it and it becomes a target for violent dissident republicans," the police chief said.

“Our assessment is that they would be a target because it would be representative of the state and in their minds fair game for attack. I would assume that that assessment is shared by senior politicians and officials who are negotiating Brexit."

In December the PSNI was awarded £16.48m to help prepare for Brexit.

They plan to use the money to recruit 308 officers and staff by April 2020.

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