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    Not acceptable’: officers policing Trump visit sleeping on mats

    Officers policing Donald Trump’s trip to the UK are being forced to sleep in unacceptable conditions worse than cells, rank and file police have complained as the government reveals it is expecting more than 100 separate protests over the visit.
    Members of the Police Federation circulated images showing cramped lines of camp beds filling a sports hall in Essex, and sleeping mats on the floor of a squash court, for officers to rest on between long shifts policing the controversial visit.
    The Home Office minister, Nick Hurd, was challenged about the conditions facing officers when an urgent question was granted on the issue in the House of Commons.
    The shadow policing minister, Louise Haigh, said: “It has emerged that officers being accommodated in Essex are sleeping on cots in squash courts, 100 female officers with four toilets between them, likely to be sleeping on mats tonight, 300 male officers with five toilets between them. Is it any wonder that forces struggle to fill their requirements?”
    Hurd replied: “Those concerns [about accommodation] have been raised directly with Essex police and are being managed.”He confirmed that nearly every force in the country has been asked to contribute officers to help police the visit. He also revealed the scale of the estimated protests, saying: “The police are expecting over a 100 separate protests across the country, there are separate policing plans within one strategy.”
    The cost of policing the visit will come to a minimum of £12m, with leave for thousands of officers cancelled, a particular strain for forces on alert for possible disorder during the World Cup.
    About 4,000 officers will be drafted into the areas Trump is visiting, the biggest mobilisation since the 2011 riots across England. The National Police Chiefs’ Council has urged the public to avoid putting any extra strain on officers, many of whom will work 12-hour shifts.
    Hurd conceded that the visit comes at a time when the police are “very stretched”. He told the Commons: “This is a significant policing operation and comes at a time when police resources are also focused on investigating the incidents in Salisbury, in protecting us against terrorist attacks, and in delivering on their own local policing plans.
    “That right to protest is a fundamental one and needs to be respected.” 
    The Police Federation has complained about the conditions its members are facing during the operation. Simon Kempton, the organisation’s deputy treasurer in England and Wales, said 300 officers were expected to sleep in a sports hall with no hot water and restricted access to hot food.
    “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,” he said.
    “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.”

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