Five hundred Hampshire officers to help police Olympics

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MORE than 500 Hampshire officers will be deployed to the Olympics in Britain’s largest ever pre-planned policing operation.

Officers will help the Met and Dorset police, who have the biggest operations.

Hampshire officers will also assist neighbouring forces including Thames Valley.

The force will lend 506 officers from beat walkers to experts from firearms, dog support and specialist search units.

Officers trained in dealing with protesters will assist at Olympic venues and in support of the Torch Relay.

They will be deployed for a total of 68 days of the 105-day long policing operation from June 4 until September 16 after the close of the Paralympics.

Annual leave is restricted and ‘non-essential’ training is postponed as the force prepares for the operation.

The force says specials – who have the same powers as police officers – and volunteers will play a ‘valuable role’.

Chief Superintendent Chris Shead, who is heading Hampshire’s policing for the Olympics, said: ‘Our focus will be very much around ensuring the Torch Relay passes through our area safely, and the vast range of associated community events are enjoyed by all.’

He added: ‘We have carefully balanced our Olympic commitments with our normal activities so that as far as possible we can maintain business as usual.’

Hampshire officers assisting other forces will vary from 192 officers some days to as low as two officers.

Costs are being met by the Home Office.

About 12,500 officers from 52 forces will be deployed on Olympics duty daily.

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, National Olympic Security Co-ordinator, said: ‘With confidence and pride I can say that we have the officers we need to keep the Games and our wider communities safe and secure.’