We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Olympics ‘Further Draining’ Force Resources

Some forces introduce temporary measures in a bid to ensure they have enough officers to cover busy spells – it is claimed

There have been further reports that front-line policing is suffering in some forces due to Olympic mutual aid – coupled with the loss of officers due to government spending cuts.

It has been reported that West Midlands Police introduced 12 hour shifts for all response and neighbourhood officers at the weekend. Meanwhile it has been claimed that North Wales Police is offering overtime to backfill front-line response officers on Olympic duty.

¬It came really close to the wheel coming off (over the weekend).¬

Secretary of the Joint Branch Board at West Midlands Police Federation, Chris Jones, said the prolonged shifts had only applied at the weekend to make allowances in case of public disorder.

This followed a high-profile court case at Birmingham Crown Court where eight men were cleared of killing three others with a car during the 2011 August riots.

But he said the case had further demonstrated that the force was struggling to cope due to the reduced number of officers at its disposal.

He said: “It came really close to the wheel coming off (over the weekend).

“We were even drawing in people (officers) from the Met. We are struggling at the moment and we can’t cope.

“We are also on public holiday working levels at the moment but we are doing the amount of policing we can to keep the region safe.”

Chairman of North Wales Police Federation, Brian Robinson, said the force was not backfilling officers with further overtime – but had made the offer of overtime to officers at the weekend due to “a couple of critical incidents”. As officers had already travelled to London for the Olympic operation, reinforcements were more likely to be needed, he said.

Mr Robinson added: “There is no plan for back-filling but the reality is we have lost 10 per cent of the force due to the Olympics. If we did get a major incident the only way we could manage is to pay overtime.”

The force has 179 officers on Olympic duty from a total of 1,617.

Ch Supt Simon Shaw for North Wales Police said the force had planned for Olympic abstraction “months ago” and a build up of serious incidents at the weekend had required specialist officers to be called in.

He said: “Some were paid overtime but it wasn’t because of the Olympics – that had been taken care of in advance.”

A spokesman for West Midlands Police added: “We put into place resources on each shift to provide response. As part of this neighbourhood officers worked extended hours so we could provide high visibility reassurance patrols.”

How is your force coping on the front-line with the Olympic Games on the horizon? Send us your stories to editorial@policeoracle.com

Leave a Comment
View Comments 2
In Other News
Olympics: Bonus Paid To Inspectors
Comment: Olympic Success For Officers
Spare Olympic Tickets 'Should Go To Police'
‘Police Staff Are Frontline’ - Unison
Fed: Fall In Officer Numbers 'Alarming'
Planning Refusal ‘Will Not Affect’ Olympic Accommodation
Policing: An Olympic Undertaking
The Olympics: Your Stories Required
G4S Manager Resigns As Police Take Control
MPs Confirm Olympics Wash Up Hearing
Officers ‘Will Be Paid For All Olympic Hours’
PCSO Shortage 'Until October'
Police Olympic Accommodation ‘Will Be Up To Scratch’
More News