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Force was left to take flak after government asked cops go to Ibiza


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Chief constable says officers involved were put under 'intolerable strain'.

CC Dave Thompson of West Midlands Police

Two senior officers involved in the process of sending officers overseas felt that ministerial support for a deployment to Ibiza and Magaluf was lacking - despite it being a government initiative.

There was criticism of West Midlands Police in the summer of 2015 when a PC and a sergeant were sent to the Spanish resorts which are popular with British tourists.

The pair were pictured swimming while off duty there.

Dave Thompson who was second in command at the time but is now chief constable of the force said: "We did that in support of a Foreign Office request, we did that in support of international policing.

"The officers were put under intolerable strain and when the criticism came in you would have thought that it was West Midlands Police's desire to send staff to Spain because the top cover was clearly absent."

His comments were made at a discussion on the value of international policing cooperation at the National Police Chiefs' Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners joint summit.

He added: "We all want to do the right thing in this area but my sense is that government has not been great around this."

CC Thompson called for dedicated funding from government for measures such as deployments to overseas dependent territories in the Caribbean if it wants forces to support such things.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, who leads for the NPCC on international policing, said: "The deployment of two of Dave's officers to Ibiza to help with the night time economy was a deployment requested by the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office]."

He said that the Home Office had also signed off the deployment, and pointed out that the officers had been working during the day because they were there to come up with problem solving initiatives rather than deal with drunks.

"There was a scandal because Dave's officers were working in the day and going in the sea when they weren't working which seems fair enough to me.

"I think there was a lack of support at ministerial level but that doesn't mean the process wasn’t aligned properly."

Richard Clarke, international director at the Home Office, said he agreed that funding for overseas projects would be best delivered on a long term basis.

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You can only imagine the FCO taking responsibility had it been publicised as a great success

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Swimming off duty? How very dare they. I go to the gym off duty as do many colleagues. How outrageous is that!!!

In all seriousness. I can see the benefits of such deployments but as usual the media made it out to be a jolly. Not sure it warrants an appearance in front of a select committee.

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