Essex Police gear up for Olympics duty

WITH just 67 days until the start of the London 2012 Games, details of Essex Police’s involvement are beginning to emerge.

The force confirmed it has been working with its national colleagues to help resource what will be the largest ever pre-planned policing operation, while also ensuring that core policing for the communities they serve continues.

Overseen by AC Chris Allison, the national Olympic security co-ordinator, 51 forces have worked together to resource the 105-day long national policing operation, which begins on June 4 and runs until September 16.

Essex Police will be supporting the operation by providing officers to assist for a total of 56 days.

Final planning for their deployments is underway, with the majority of officers assisting the Metropolitan Police, which has the largest Games operations.

The commitment of the force will vary each day, ranging from a maximum of around 41 officers to as low as two on other days. In total, but not on one day, around 57 individual officers from Essex Police will contribute to keeping the Games safe and secure.

Essex Police is only lending officers with specific policing skills that are in high demand. These come from the mounted section, dog unit, motorcycle unit and close protection officers all contributing towards this complex operation.

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The force has 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 a crucial supporting role.

The Essex Police Olympic lead, assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison, said: “In addition to policing all the Olympic events in Essex, the force is supplying a small number of specialist officers to the Metropolitan Police and is proud to be able to contribute to the national policing demands of the Olympic Games.

“Our staff and officers are very enthusiastic about this unique opportunity and very keen to participate in this fantastic and complex policing operation.

“I can reassure all communities, businesses and visitors to Essex that they will not notice any reduction in their normal policing service.

“During the Olympic period, additional resources will ensure the force provides a high number of police officers on our streets.

“This will keep our communities safe, reduce the opportunity to commit crime and provide reassurance to the general public.”