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Officer welfare a 'priority' during 2019 Trump visit


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Around-the-clock hotline will also cater for any food or accommodation issues.

Donald Trump: Flies in for a state visit on Monday

Donald Trump: Flies in for a state visit on Monday

Date - 30th May 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle

 

Thousands of officers facing extreme workloads and further stresses from a mass mobilisation away from their forces and homes are being promised a “fairer deal” as they prepare for a Donald Trump state visit next week.

Police Federation staff have been working tirelessly to put together a pay and conditions package that averts a psychological meltdown in the ranks – scene of a huge hike in officers voluntarily quitting the service in recent years.

The impact of the job on families and personal life was cited by almost half of PFEW members in the new leavers’ survey published last August.

Low morale accounted for more than half of the reasons for officers resigning with seven in 10 feeling the service had failed in its obligation to provide pay increases to maintain their standard of living.

With the US president touching down on Monday for a second official tour of the UK, the federation is desperate to ensure officers’– already “run ragged” through depleted numbers and unprecedented levels of demand – do not suffer further strain as at they did at last year’s security operation.

Mr Trump’s July 2018 trip to the British Isles saw almost 10,000 officers deployed on a mutual aid basis, with nearly every force providing staff to support the operation.

This time, officers will benefit from a ring-fenced allowance of £50 for each night away, overnight accommodation in a hotel instead sleeping in gymnasiums, properly regulated mealtimes, access to water at all times, availability of charging points, and

welfare vans.

Federation reps will also be present at briefing locations and a hotline will be provided around-the-clock for officers to call if they experience difficulties regarding welfare, food or accommodation.

If officers work a day of annual leave they may be entitled to compensation, including overtime payment and a day back.

Under regulations if officers work on a rest day they are entitled to compensation – where less than 15 days’ notice is given they are entitled to payment at time and a half.

PFEW operational policing lead Simon Kempton said: “Last year conditions were clearly unacceptable for many of the near 10,000 officers deployed, many of whom were far away from their homes and families after rest days and annual leave were cancelled.”

He added: "The president's visit this time will without a doubt place the police service under further strain but our members will, as ever, step up to the plate and do their best despite facing unprecedented levels of demand and at a particularly busy time of the year.

"It's the same officers simply just doing more, being run ragged with cancelled rest days and extra shifts which will ultimately impact on their mental health and affect the service they are able to provide to the public."

Referencing the federation survey, Mr Kempton said: “Policing is also unique in that unlike the other emergency services, officers are liable to have their leave and rest days cancelled at extremely short notice to respond to operational demand, as happened in the case of President Trump’s visit when thousands of police were mobilised away from their forces and homes."

A huge polic  and security operation will be in place as President Trump arrives in the UK.

The Met said it had "a very experienced command team" leading the operation as the force geared up to deal with the visit itself and expected protests.

During the state visit, which begins on June 3, protesters are again hoping to fly the Donald Trump blimp, which depicts the American leader as a baby.

The phone-wielding, nappy-wearing inflatable could return to London on Tuesday as thousands plan to march in protest against the visit.

This year's protest props will also include a 16ft talking robot of Mr Trump sitting on a gold toilet.

The Met said officers have met organisers of the Together Against Trump protest, who plan to gather in Trafalgar Square on June 4.

Amnesty International, the human rights organisation, has said it will unfurl five giant banners at Vauxhall Bridge, facing the US embassy, on Monday morning.

Regional demonstrations across the UK are also planned, including in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Belfast.

A Met spokesman said: "A very experienced command team is preparing the multi-faceted policing and security operation for the president's visit and whilst the Met has a responsibility to ensure the right to lawful protest this needs to be balanced with the complex requirements of this policing plan."

Meanwhile, police are calling for changes in the law to prevent copycat tactics being adopted in the wake of climate protests that put Britain under siege.

Scotland Yard is in discussions with the Home Office to review the current Public Order legislation with fears Extinction Rebellion will be replicated by other groups.

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It’s nice they have stepped up for this.  Bit of a shame that it has not been, or assumed not to have been the norm until now! 

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Officers on mutual aid were treated with contempt on the last Trump visit.

 

It isn’t acceptable that Police Officers should be expected to sleep in sports halls on camp beds and have such little privacy.

 

Whilst we should take our hats off to people in the military whom sign up to challenging conditions, Police Officers shouldn’t be treated like foot soldiers.

 

Police Officers should be treated like any other public sector employee and be given hotel accommodation. Even a basic hotel falls below the standards of ‘home comfort’ and shouldn’t be considered a luxury.

 

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I'm on Aid for three days next week, we'll see how it goes...watch this space

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