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Trump visit will see biggest police mobilisation since 2011 riots

Nearly every force in England and Wales will contribute officers to help police the visit.

Security preparations near the US Ambassador’s residence Winfield House, in Regent’s Park, London (David Mirzoeff/PA)
Security preparations near the US Ambassador’s residence Winfield House, in Regent’s Park, London (David Mirzoeff/PA)

One of the biggest ever police operations will take place to cover the visit to the UK by US president Donald Trump.

Nearly every force in England and Wales has contributed officers to help with the massive mobilisation, the biggest since the 2011 riots.

Thousands of officers will be on duty to cover the visit, during which President Trump is expected to visit locations including Blenheim Palace, Chequers, Windsor Castle, the US ambassador’s official residence in Regent’s Park, London, and Scotland.

(PA Graphics)

Mr Trump suggested Britain was in “turmoil” as he set off on a European trip taking in a Nato summit and face-to-face talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin as well as his first visit to the UK as president

He said he got along with Theresa May “very well”, but suggested he might make time during his UK visit to speak with his friend Boris Johnson, who has just rocked her Government by resigning as foreign secretary.

It was “up to the people” whether or not they want Mrs May to stay as Prime Minister, he added.

Police colleagues left behind in the home forces will cover the shortfall, with West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson warning that it will have a knock-on effect for months as officers take owed time off.

An armed police officer at US Ambassador’s residence (David Mirzoeff/PA)

It is thought Mr Trump will avoid central London, where thousands of protesters are set to take to the streets and a controversial balloon depicting him as a giant baby will be flown near Westminster.

Officers from a variety of specialist teams including firearms, public order, traffic and special escort groups will be deployed.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead, from the National Police Co-ordination Centre, said: “Police forces are working together on a significant, multi-faceted security operation supporting the Presidential visit to the UK.

“Nearly all police forces in England and Wales are providing officers and resources to assist with the operations in areas hosting the visit.

A road is closed as part of security preparations in Regent’s Park (Yui Mok/PA)

“Following England’s World Cup match on Saturday, forces are reporting exceptionally heavy demand.

“Emergency calls spiked significantly after the match and have continued to remain high. Police chiefs are working to balance support for the presidential visit, and policing any associated protests, with responding to calls for help from the public and minimising the impact on local police services.

“Unfortunately this means officers’ rest days have been cancelled and many will be working extended 12-hour shifts.

Many officers will work long hours during the visit (Yui Mok/PA)

“This is a busy week for policing across the country, so please only call 999 in a genuine emergency and don’t let the football be an excuse for disorder or obstructing the emergency services.”

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh said the operation is expected to cost £8 million to £10 million.

Simon Kempton, from the national Police Federation, warned that the event put forces “under unquestionable pressure” and said that during the visit the service was likely to become “merely reactive”.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are anticipating people to gather in the capital to demonstrate both for and against the president. The requirements of this complex operation need to be balanced with the right of individuals to a freedom of speech.

“This will be a multi agency operation with a very experienced command team.”

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph