Police to boost London Games safety

HUNDREDS of officers are preparing for their part in a massive operation to police the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Cleveland and Durham Police are working with 49 other forces in the largest ever policing operation this summer.

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, the National Olympic Security Co-ordinator, says forces from up and down the country have worked together to resource the 105-day-long national policing plan, which begins on June 4 and runs until September 16.

Cleveland Police will support the operation by providing officers to assist for a total of 63 days.

Final planning for their deployment is underway. But the majority of officers will assist the Metropolitan Police and Dorset Police, which have the largest Games operations.

The number of officers that forces provide each day will range from a maximum of around 110 officers from Cleveland and 68 from Durham, to as low as just two officers.

In total, but not on one day, around 333 officers from the forces will contribute to keeping the Games safe and secure.

While the majority of officers travelling to police the Games are general beat officers, there will also be specialist skilled officers, including public order officers, search teams, dog handlers, authorised firearms officers and police motorcyclists.

The forces have 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.

Annual leave has been restricted across the service, non-essential training has been postponed and the Special Constabulary and volunteers will play their role.

Assistant Commissioner Allison said: “All 51 forces are playing a role to deliver a fantastic summer of celebration, yet our planning has also ensured that our core policing continues, keeping our communities safe.

“In addition, we maintain our regional resilience, able to manage major incidents or investigations and respond to contingencies outside of the Games wherever necessary.

“The summer of 2012 will be a busy and challenging time for the British police service, but with confidence and pride I can say that we have the officers we need to keep the Games and our wider communities safe and secure.”

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, of Cleveland Police, said: “The force is pleased to be involved in policing the Games and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the torch to Cleveland.

“We have arranged our mutual aid so that, should any matters arise in Cleveland, we have the appropriate support to deal with any issues.”

Assistant Chief Constable Michael Banks, of Durham Police, added: “I can reassure our local communities that policing across the force area will be very much business as usual during the Games.

“Everyone is looking forward to what I am sure will be a successful event.”