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West Mids begins mutual aid op as Commonwealth Games open

The force in charge of the UK’s second city has begun a mammoth operation to deliver the Commonwealth Games.

The operation by West Midlands Police to host the UK’s biggest sporting event of 2022 is under way.

After four years of planning, the Gold Command team moved to its delivery phase for the start of the Commonwealth Games.

It will begin with an opening ceremony attended by the Royal family, senior politicians and VIPs tonight.

Supporting West Midlands Police are around 3,000 officers from across the UK who have been seconded on mutual aid. 

None have travelled further than PCs Adam Potter and Mat Du Port, police bikers with Guernsey Police who arrived three days ago.

As Guernsey Police don’t have the same powers of PCs on the mainland their first assignment was a dash to the law courts in Birmingham to be sworn in as West Midlands Police Special Constables.

PC Potter said: “We both wanted to play our part in what is a once in a lifetime opportunity to police such a massive event and be part of the occasion.

“We’re hosting the Islands Games in Guernsey next year which is hugely exciting but clearly we’ll never get the chance to be involved in something on the scale of Birmingham 2022,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll get some downtime to also explore the area and take in some of the city.”

Ahead of the event, the Queen’s Baton Relay had crossed the country supported by West Mercia, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

The force revealed a massive security operation is under way: “The relay protection officers are one part of a major operation to deliver a safe and secure Birmingham 2022. We've got high-visibility patrols, firearms officers, search specialists and more.”

Police Dogs Jaffa, Bourbon and Dodger, all six-month-old spaniels will be the force’s mascots for the Games at fan zones and events.

One of the commitments was to make the Games sustainable – and the force isn’t missing this objective either.

The force has been loaned five electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires to support police escort team.

The eye-catching Harleys – all decked out in police livery – will be used by the traffic unit to safely accompany VIPs throughout the two-week sporting spectacle.

The team is also getting more bikes from eco-friendly brand Zero which make emission-free vehicles.

Traffic Inspector Sion Hathaway, said: “It gives us extra resilience, demonstrates our commitment to a ‘green games’ and will be real head-turners as they are used operationally on our VIP escorts.”

But behind the event's glitz has been hard work by teams to ensure venues are secure ahead of the competition.

Late on Wednesday, Solihull Police Partnerships shared on social media: “Working through the night with our partners to ensure the Commneweath Games 2022 will be the best-ever. We are ready to welcome you all wherever you are visiting, enjoy yourselves.”

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