Chiefs cancel rest days for front-line Hampshire police

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FRONT-LINE police officers have had rest days cancelled as Hampshire Constabulary continues to ramp up resources in the wake of riots.

In the Portsmouth area all front-line police are working 12-hour shifts.

Hampshire Constabulary will continue to send specialist officers to London until at least Tuesday when the situation will be reviewed.

Police are on high alert for potential violence – but insist there have been no incidents in our area linked to riots across the country.

Yesterday every MP in the region – except Portsmouth South’s Mike Hancock who is holidaying in Spain – attended the House of Commons as David Cameron took the drastic step of recalling parliament due to the riots.

Meanwhile Portsmouth’s police officers have spoken out in support of the community.

Sergeant Wendie Douglas works on the front line in Portsmouth covering 24-7 emergency response. She said: ‘My officers are working 12-hour shifts and are having their rest days cancelled, some have been to the riots in London. We are tired but happy to do whatever it takes to make sure Portsmouth remain safe.

She added: ‘The kind words, the small acts of kindness and the smiles from local people are appreciated.

‘My shift was due to be off this weekend and will now be working to the small hours of the morning. It’s the people of Portsmouth who show their support and understand that we do the best we can that make me proud to be a police officer and proud to be a Portsmouth copper.’

Yesterday officers from Portsmouth city centre unit posted on social networking site Twitter: ‘All front-line officers are working 12-hour shifts and days off through the weekend to ensure things remain calm. #dontaskaboutplansfordaysoff.’

Meanwhile Supt Rick Burrows, who is helping co-ordinate Hampshire Constabulary’s response to the riots, praised officers, said: ‘We are going to keep officers up in London until Tuesday and then it will be reviewed.

They are working long hours, travelling up in the morning and they are not coming back until the following morning.

‘It’s very quiet [in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight]. It’s about reassurance for the public and it’s about disrupting any small groups who want to try and mimic what’s going on in London. They have been spectacularly unsuccessful.’