Soldiers ready to step in to help crackdown
TROOPS could be called in to help police enforce the new virus rules, Boris Johnson has told MPs.
Soldiers are on standby to guard high- security sites including Parliament, Downing Street and nuclear power stations to free up officers for the crackdown.
The Prime Minister told the Commons: “We will provide the police and local authorities with the extra funding they need, a greater police presence on our streets, and the option to draw on military support where required to free up the police.”
Around 500 troops from three Army battalions are ready for guard duties at 12 hours notice, according to Whitehall officials. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “To further free up the police to have a greater presence on our streets they will have the option to draw on military support, where required, using tried and tested mechanisms.
“This would involve the military backfilling certain duties, such as office roles and guarding protected sites, so police officers can be out enforcing the virus response.”
If needed by police chiefs, troops could be deployed under Operation Temperer, a Ministry of Defence military mobilisation plan for civil emergencies.
It was last activated in 2017 after the terrorist attack in Manchester.