Donald Trump in the UK: Police sleeping conditions 'a disgrace'


Police vest

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Around 300 officers from forces across the country have been brought in for the president’s visit

Hundreds of police officers assigned to help with Donald Trump’s visit to the UK are having to sleep in conditions described as “an absolute disgrace”.

Pictures posted on social media show rows of camp beds in a gymnasium which will be used for officers to rest on after 12 hour shifts.

The Police Federation said prisoners in cells would be sleeping in better conditions than its officers.

The situation was “not acceptable”, the body coordinating the operation said.

Labour MP Louise Haigh raised the issue in the House of Commons, claiming 100 female officers had just four toilets between them, and 300 male officers had just five toilets.

She added: “The time for warm words is over. The government must now provide the police with the support they desperately need.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the conditions some of his officers had found themselves in were an “absolute disgrace”.

“No officer should be made to sleep on a camp bed, inches from the floor, in a sports hall with scores of colleagues only metres apart after a 12 hour shift”, he said.

Around 300 officers have been brought in from forces across the country to help police Donald Trump’s visit, costing up to £10m.

The US president is arriving on Thursday afternoon and will be in the UK for three days before travelling to Finland for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

President Trump will attend a dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, bilateral talks with the prime minister at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, a meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle, and a private trip to Scotland.

Thousands are expected to protest against the working visit across the country, with large-scale marches planned for London and Glasgow.

Simon Kempton, the Police Federation’s deputy treasurer in England and Wales, said: “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.

“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.”

John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, added: “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.”

‘Below standard’

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council – the organisation co-ordinating the operation – thanked the officers who “raised this important issue”.

He said: “Some of the accommodation pictured today for officers supporting the major operation for the US presidential visit is not acceptable and below the standard of other accommodation for this operation.

“Essex Police is working at speed to resolve the issues for the affected officers.”

Home Department Minister Nick Hurd said it was right that the force is addressing the issues.

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