HAMPSHIRE’S top policeman will deploy officers to riot-hit London until at least mid-September.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall revealed last night that specialist officers will provide back-up to the Met as the force deals with the aftermath of sickening rampages across the capital.
Fears trouble could flare at big city events including the Notting Hill Carnival on the bank holiday weekend mean extra officers are needed to help police the city.
Mr Marshall, who cancelled his leave after riots broke out, said: ‘The Met is having an increased visible presence on the streets. They have got big events such as the Notting Hill Carnival still going ahead so they need additional support as well.’
Special public support unit officers have been sent to the capital from Hampshire since last Tuesday. Officers were also called to the West Midlands at one point.
Despite officers experiencing what the chief constable described as ‘direct action’ in Hackney last week no-one from Hampshire was hurt.
Meanwhile in our area policing was ramped up amid fears rioting could spread to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
At its peak last Friday the number of officers on our streets rose from 800 to about 1,200. About 200 police community support officers and special constables were on duty, front-line officers’ rest days were cancelled last weekend and police worked 12-hour shifts.
There was no serious disorder in our area and no rise in crime.
Mr Marshall added: ‘Bearing in mind they worked very long hours, had their days off cancelled, some were sent to the Midlands or London and at the same time they were delivering normal policing in Hampshire I think they did a fantastic job.
‘They stepped up on behalf of the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and they helped other forces. They were a great credit to Hampshire Constabulary.’
Mr Marshall praised officers and staff for their use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reassure the public, monitor potential trouble spots and catch criminals. He added: ‘We quickly adapted and changed our policing response to match this new way of breaking the law. It is the first time I have seen co-ordinated disorder including that type of messaging. We didn’t have any serious disorder in Hampshire. We had no rise in crime.’
Six people in Hampshire were arrested for riot-linked crimes.