Elite armed officers and the counter-terror ‘robocops’ who train alongside the SAS will be on alert amid fears of a terrorist atrocity.
Hundreds of riot vans are expected to take to the streets to prevent planned rallies and marches against Donald Trump turning violent – particularly when they clash with supporters of the US President.
A total of 40 police cars and motorbike outriders are thought to have been demanded whenever Trump travels by road, to shield him for assassination attempts.
Police forces will travel both in front and behind the President’s car, blocking all intersections along the route.Chief constables have cancelled their rest days and told officers to prepare to be hundreds of miles away from home to help out in areas Trump is due to visit.
Operation Manifold, as it has been labelled, has caused fears it will leave the rest of the country without adequate security in the midst of a violent crime wave, which has seen 77 suspected murders in the capital alone this year.
Kevin Hurley, a former public order chief in the City of London Police, said: “It will be a significant drain on visible policing – it’s going to strip out resources from surrounding forces and it will be the youngest and fittest who are drawn off.
“Whenever the US president visits there is a huge security requirement just because of the threat from terrorism, but because of his current profile it’s likely to increase opposition and there will be a significant requirement to maintain public order.”
Trump is set to arrive in the UK on Friday 13 July, a day after attending a Nato summit in Brussels.
The first lady, Melania Trump, is expected to join him on the three-day “working visit,” despite rarely being seen in public since undergoing a kidney operation last month.
Up to 10,000 police officers will be drafted in to protect the US President
Trump will meet the Queen, the US ambassador to the UK, Robert Wood Johnson, said on Wednesday, and is expected to dine at Blenheim Palace.
A meeting with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, is also widely expected at either Downing Street or the Prime Minister’s country house, Chequers, to ensure the upkeep of the “special relationship”.
Further details of his itinerary are scarce at present but White House officials are due to fly in this week to plan the schedule in detail.
However, it is believed President Trump will not be afforded the full pomp and ceremony of a State visit when he arrives in less than three weeks’ time.
Labour’s shadow police minister Louise Haigh said: “Police officers across the country are having their rest days and leave cancelled on a weekly basis to keep people safe.
Question Time audience member: UK needs a Donald Trump
Donald Trump is expected to meet Theresa May at either Downing Street or Chequers
“The very last thing they need right now is to be diverted from vital tasks to police the red carpet being rolled out for President Trump.”
It has been claimed commanders are currently expecting as many as 200 Police Support Units – comprising an inspector, three sergeants and around 20 public order-trained PCs in three riot vans – will need to be ready for action throughout the trip.
Hundreds of authorised firearms officers, as seen during last month’s Royal Wedding, are also expected to be on duty.
Behind the scenes will also be dozens of Counter-Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officers (CTSFOs), who wear military-style fatigues and are trained alongside special forces to tackle terrorists and perform hostage rescues.
Already, 53,000 people have declared they will attend the main Stop Trump protest on Friday, July 13, organised by Jeremy Corbyn supporter Owen Jones.
Hundreds of riot vans are expected to take to the streets to prevent planned rallies and marches
Earlier that day there will also be a protest led by Women’s March London, gathering outside the BBC headquarters in Oxford Circus and rallying in Trafalgar Square.
On Saturday July 14, a hardcore band of Trump supporters are expected to clash with counter-demonstraters outside Downing Street.
Scotland Yard said: “We are preparing for a multi-faceted policing and security operation, involving the protection and movement of the president.
“The requirements of this complex operation need to be balanced with the right of individuals to a freedom of speech.”
Chief constables are still finalising the numbers needed to police the protests, and have started organising rotas for the areas which are expected to lose their usual frontline officers.
Elite armed officers and the counter-terror ‘robocops’ who train alongside the SAS will be on alert
Unpaid Special Constables will fill the gaps.
Simon Kempton of the Police Federation, which represents the rank and file, said: “Thousands of police officers will be leaving their forces to work in long and arduous conditions, and their colleagues will have to maintain a service to the public.
“This comes at a human cost to those officers.”