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West Midlands Police Federation

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Force supports mutual aid operation for Trump visit

13 July 2018

Around 500 West Midlands Police officers will be supporting colleagues in Thames Valley, Essex and Scotland during this week’s visit to the UK by the American President.

Donald Trump is due to land in England today (Thursday) ahead of a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace and, after a day of engagements tomorrow including a meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle, will then travel to Scotland for the weekend.

“This is a massive mutual aid operation,” says Steve Grange, secretary of West Midlands Police Federation, “As such, officers are being pulled from across the country to support those forces most affected.

“Unusually, we do not appear to have had a large number of officers putting themselves forward for this deployment and therefore many have been allocated to the operation causing issues around childcare and other caring responsibilities.”

The Federation has successfully argued that overnight allowance should be paid to all eligible officers involved in the policing operation.

Simon Kempton, national Federation lead on mutual aid, said the news was positive but the decision should have been made at the outset of the planning process.

“The Federation has worked hard, nationally and at local level, to put forward a reasoned and balanced case to chief officers as to why officers should all be treated fairly and in these circumstances be paid the allowance,” he explained.
“It is positive that those arguments have now been listened to, albeit disappointing that this was not recognised at the outset. There was disparity across the country in the approaches being taken and that caused anger and only leads to feelings of resentment. Time and time again officers have their days off cancelled, work over their hours and away from home. This has an impact on their home life, their families and the health and wellbeing of officers themselves so the very least that should be done is that they are paid and recognised in a fair way.”

The paying of overnight allowance (£50 per night) requires an officer to meet certain criteria and is laid down in police regulations. It is not automatically compensated if an officer is forced to be away from home because of a work deployment. In order to qualify, an officer must be held in reserve, deemed to be ‘held in reserve’ and:
a) Be away from their normal place of duty.
b) Be required to stay in a ‘particular, specified place’ overnight, rather than being allowed home.
c) By reason of the need, be ready for immediate deployment.

The last criteria ‘be ready for immediate deployment’ has been a moot point and open to interpretation which has meant that some officers were previously not going to be paid the allowance, despite logistical reasons meaning there would be no way they could return home.

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