Trump visit stretches force
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner says lending
officers to other forces around the country to help deal with large
security operations is having a major impact on policing in our
West Midlands Police is being asked to send a significant number
of officers, many for 3 days, to the South East of England during
President Trump's visit to the UK next week. Around 1000 rest days
have had to be cancelled. Cancelling leave will ensure there are
enough officers available for the Presidential visit, whilst also
ensuring the West Midlands is policed appropriately.
It's thought Mr Trump will meet with both the Prime Minister and
the Queen for what is being described as a 'working visit'.
He is expected to arrive in London on Friday 13th
The real problem though emerges after the visit. At that point
hard working officers must be given days off to rest. This puts
huge pressure on the force for weeks, if not months.
The Home Office has said it will pay the salaries of officers
involved in the operation, on the days they were involved. But the
government are powerless to solve the problem of a shortage of
available police whilst rest days are taken. It means policing any
major event outside the region has a big knock on effect on
policing in the months that follow it.
The problem is exacerbated because since 2010 the force has
shrunk by 2100 officers thanks to cuts of over £145 million.
Making matters worse, the summer period is the time when crime
peaks thanks to the long light evenings and school holidays.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson,
said: "I am extremely worried that our force is being put under a
significant amount of pressure by being asked to help with national
events, like President Trump's visit.
"It is right that world leaders are able to safely visit the UK.
The problem is that cuts have left the force with no capacity. It
means when it is asked to help it has a hugely negative impact on
policing in our area as officers rightly take days off to
"Not so long ago the force had 2100 more officers which meant we
had the capacity to manage when called on to police national
events. Sadly cuts mean the thin blue line is thinner than
The visit to the UK by President Trump is thought to be
triggering the biggest police mobilisation ever: surpassing even
the 2011 riots.