Suffolk: More than 200 of the county’s officers to be deployed during Olympics

MORE than 200 Suffolk police officers will take part in the massive national security operation during the London Olympics, it has emerged.

The maximum number of officers from the constabulary who will be deployed on any one day during the Games is 85 – around 7% of Suffolk’s current force of 1,168.

Last night, the constabulary pledged local policing would not suffer as a result of the operation as rest days and leave are being restricted to ensure the necessary staffing levels are kept up. In addition Norfolk Constabulary will provide help to Suffolk when necessary, and vice versa.

The police federations for the two counties believe the strategy for policing over the next few weeks should be adequate. However, they warned they would have deep reservations should there be a high unforeseen demand placed on the constabularies.

Matt Gould, chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation said: “We believe the plans in place at the moment are satisfactory to meet the needs of Suffolk, but if there are any unexpectedly high demands of staff or we are asked to assist in providing mutual aid to other forces we will have serious problems.”

The figures relating to the number of officers being deployed for the Olympics are contained in a report to the full Suffolk County Council meeting, which is due to take place tomorrow.

Police have said that in May this year around 202 officers from Suffolk, including some in specialist roles, were earmarked to be part of the security operation in London and elsewhere if required.

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Despite the ongoing concerns over the G4S security problems, no additional officers from the county have been requested to help fill the void.

Suffolk police will be reimbursed for its costs for supporting the Metropolitan Police and a number of other forces with Olympic venues.

Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “While the majority of officers travelling to police the Games are general beat officers, providing their usual professional service and working alongside the public, there is also a requirement for some specialist skilled officers to assist.

“Suffolk has adopted a range of measures to maximise the number of officers available to assist with the Games but also to continue policing across the force area.

“This has included working closely with Norfolk Constabulary through our existing collaborative arrangements to balance the contributions from the two forces to help maintain our local policing arrangements.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) stressed officers from Suffolk will not be used as replacements to back fill for the lack of G4S staff.

It said they will be deployed at various locations during their involvement in the Olympics.

Tim Wiseman, a spokesman for ACPO, said: “Suffolk police are providing mutual aid for the policing operation. At this time Suffolk is not supplying any officers in place of G4S.

“Mutual aid for the police operation is funded from the Olympic Security Budget which comes from the Home Office.”

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