200 police officers off to London for the Olympic Games
TWO hundred Notts Police officers will be sent to London every day during the 2012 Olympics.
The announcement means that one in ten of all officers in Notts are being sent to the capital each day during the course of the Games – which run from July 27 until August 12 – and through to the Paralympic Games which start on August 29 and finish on September 9.
Training courses have been stopped for officers and leave has been cancelled.
And the force has budgeted £500,000 to cover costs, such as overtime and extra equipment which are needed while the officers are away.
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Special constables, who are unpaid volunteers, will carry out some frontline duties in Notts.
Notts Police have said they will still be able to cope in the event of a major incident.
Chairman of the Police Federation, Phil Matthews, said: "Should a major incident happen then I'm sure we will still be able to deal with it, because we'll have to, but we are going to need the help of Specials.
"The force needs to be talking to the employers of our Special constables and asking if they can have time off work to cover for the force. Some may not be able to afford the time.
"It is a high figure, but it's a fluid one and could be subject to change. Most officers have taken the news on the chin and made plans around the Games. But for some it has caused frustration as the Olympics takes place in the middle of the school holidays, and officers are not going to be allowed time off to be with their families."
All 43 forces in England and Wales have a commitment to support the Olympics, but the number of officers being seconded from each is calculated individually, and takes into account which counties are hosting events.
A majority of officers going to the Games will be police constables, but there will also be specially trained officers such as members of the force's firearms unit.
A Notts Police spokesman said: "Notts Police, in common with all forces, has been asked by the Olympic Organising Committee to provide officers to assist with the policing on each day of the Games in London.
"The force is proud to support its colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and the organising committee to ensure the Games is a memorable and safe experience for everyone. This is a national event and planners have always envisaged that a national policing response would be required.
"We have been planning for this commitment for more than two years and have contingency plans in place to ensure that the public of Notts are not adversely affected by it.
"That includes restricting leave for staff and officers during the weeks preceding and during the Games.
"We have also cancelled all training courses during the Olympic period and plan to make use of our Special Constabulary, who have many of the same powers as regular officers, to ensure we maintain the level of service the public expects of us.
"Should a major incident occur in London, there may be a request for additional officers from other force areas, including Notts.
"Conversely, should there be a major incident in Notts during that period there are mutual aid arrangements in place to ensure that officers from other force areas are quickly deployed here to assist, if required."
Vice-chairman of the Notts Police Authority, Glynn Gilfoyle, said: "We are satisfied that there will be sufficient resilience across the force to sustain the quality of local policing."
An ACPO spokesman said: "The Games will be our biggest ever policing operation, with an estimated 12,000 officers keeping them safe nationally on the busiest days.
"The police service is committed to ensuring the summer of 2012 is a safe and secure celebration of sport. Forces will police the Torch Relay and local events in their area, while continuing to keep our communities safe.
"Mutual aid is provided on a pro-rata basis, ensuring that all forces provide officers proportionate to the force size, capability and with consideration of any local requirements."