Donald Trump: Visit sees largest police operations since 2011 UK riots

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Donald Trump’s visit to the UK will see thousands of officers on duty in what will be the biggest UK police operation since the riots in August 2011.

The US President’s first trip to Britain has seen nearly every police force in the country call up officers for his arrival, with demonstrations planned up and down the country during his time here.

During his trip Mr Trump will be visiting Blenheim Palace, Chequers, and Windsor Castle on Thursday and Friday, as he avoids central London, where a large bulk of the protests will be taking place.

The protests in London are expected to see over 50,000 people march on Parliament Square, which will also see a giant Trump Baby blimp fly above the crowd.

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The security operation is estimated to cost between £8m and £10m and will put police under "unquestionable pressure", according to Police Federation chairman Simon Kempton.

Police specialists from firearms, public order, traffic and special escort teams will all be involved in making sure the controversial trip goes smoothly.

Talking to Sky News Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead, from the National Police Coordination Centre, said: "Police forces are working together on a significant, multi-faceted security operation supporting the presidential visit to the UK.

"Nearly all police forces in England and Wales are providing officers and resources to assist with the operations in areas hosting the visit."

Unacceptable conditions

On top of that, police securing Donald Trump's visit to the UK are being forced to sleep in unacceptable conditions worse than cells, the organisation representing rank-and-file officers has said.

Pictures show cramped lines of camp beds filling a vast gymnasium and sleeping mats on the floor of a squash court for officers to rest on between long shifts policing the US President's trip, starting on Thursday.

The Police Federation has complained of the conditions its members are facing during the operation, which will see officers from across the country enlisted at a cost of up to £10 million.

Simon Kempton, the organisation's deputy treasurer in England and Wales, said 300 officers are expected to sleep in the gymnasium with no hot water and restricted access to warm food.

"These officers have been asked to leave their families to travel to another part of the country to help protect the public and the president and all they expect in return is to be treated with some dignity and respect," he said.

"What's clear is that anyone overnight who has been arrested by the police would be put in accommodation far superior to what the officers are staying in."

He said officers at that site are only averaging three to four hours' sleep ahead of 15-hour shifts because of the conditions.

Read more: Trump protests 'embarrassing', says Republicans Overseas spokesman

John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, said: "There's so much pressure on officers at the moment. Many are having rest days cancelled, working extended hours and this on top of it; do the bosses really care?

"It hits morale. It's tough at the moment, really tough and they don't deserve this - it's not right and it's not acceptable."