Po­lice banned from tak­ing leave to deal with Brexit fall­out

Of­fi­cers not al­lowed to go on hol­i­day in April

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Woolworths: A Decade On - By Paul Fran­cis Po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor

pfran­[email protected]­m­group.co.uk

Kent Po­lice has con­firmed of­fi­cers are not be­ing per­mit­ted to book any leave after the dead­line date for Brexit - but only for a month.

Force chiefs say there are no plans to can­cel hol­i­days in the run up to March, adding they will hon­our time off that has al­ready been booked.

The force could come un­der pres­sure around the March 29 de­par­ture date if the UK is un­able to reach an agree­ment for its split from the EU.

A no-deal sce­nario is con­sid­ered more likely to trig­ger Op­er­a­tion Brock - the scheme to limit dis­rup­tion to the county caused by de­lays in cus­toms checks.

Kent Po­lice would have a sig­nif­i­cant role in im­ple­ment­ing and over­see­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of a con­traflow on the M20 as well as or­gan­is­ing and manag­ing the di­ver­sion of lor­ries.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Peter Ayling said: “Of­fi­cers who had al­ready booked leave on or after March 29 have been per­mit­ted to take it.

“Kent Po­lice reg­u­larly as­sesses sig­nif­i­cant events and as­sesses its re­sources ac­cord­ingly, in­clud­ing when it is ap­pro­pri­ate to de­cline leave re­quests when the thresh­old for the ac­cept­able num­ber of of­fi­cers off duty is reached.

“As such, no fur­ther leave re­quests, other than those al­ready ap­proved, will be ap­proved for of­fi­cers for the pe­riod from March 28 to the end of April at this time.”

He added: “Kent Po­lice’s pri­or­ity is to keep peo­ple safe and help part­ner agen­cies keep the county mov­ing.

“With Bri­tain’s with­drawal from the Euro­pean Union, Kent Po­lice has an obli­ga­tion to plan for ev­ery fore­see­able even­tu­al­ity with its part­ner agen­cies and key stake­hold­ers.

“As part of that plan­ning var­i­ous trans­port, lo­gis­tics and re­sourc­ing con­tin­gen­cies have been dis­cussed.

“Kent Po­lice re­mains in con­sul­ta­tion with gov­ern­ment de­part­ments as part of this process.”

The force has se­cured £850,000 of gov­ern­ment money for Brexit con­tin­gency plan­ning.

The fund­ing was an­nounced by po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner Matthew Scott, who ex­plained the cash would cover the ini­tial stages of pre­par­ing for the UK’S with­drawal from the EU.

He said, based on whether a deal was agreed upon, the force would need be­tween £4m and £19.5m to deal with the ef­fects of leav­ing the union.

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