Policing Donald Trump: hundreds of officers forced to sleep in sports hall during President's visit
The sleeping conditions of police protecting Donald Trump on his visit to Britain have been branded 'disgraceful' – with officers crammed into bunks in gyms and squash courts.
Thousands of extra officers have been sent to the nation's capital – including 400 from West Midlands Police and 100 from Staffordshire Police – for the US President's visit, which starts today and is expected.
But sleeping accommodation provided for the officers as part of the £10 million security operation have prompted widespread fury among officers and top brass.
Images show hundreds of camp beds squeezed into a sports hall, while groups of female officers have been told to get their heads down on mats in a squash court after working 12-hour shifts.
Some officers said there was nowhere for them to charge their phones, while others complained of having to get dressed in the dark after taking freezing cold showers.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “The conditions some West Midlands Police officers are being forced to endure is an absolute disgrace.
“No officer should be made to sleep on a camp bed, inches from the floor, in a sports hall with scores of colleagues only metres apart after a 12 hour shift.
“Some female officers are even having to sleep in squash courts.
“These officers are in the South East to keep the President of the United States safe. They aren’t asking for luxury accommodation, but the least we can do is put them up in a room with a proper bed.
“Forces up and down the country have struggled with cuts for years. My fear is that local police forces have taken the decision to put some of our officers up in this way because the government aren’t stepping forward to pick up the tab for accommodation.”
The Police Federation has also complained about the conditions, saying officers had been given accommodation that is worse than prison cells.
Simon Kempton, the organisation's deputy treasurer in England and Wales, said officers sleeping in the gymnasium had no access to hot water and restricted access to warm 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."
The operation for Mr Trump's visit is one of the biggest in police history.
It has meant that cash-strapped WMP has had to cancel 1,000 rest days, with the force also expected to send 100 officers to Scotland this weekend for the second part of the President's visit.
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