Wigan bobbies off to the Olympics

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WIGAN is sending scores of police to London to help handle security at the Olympics.

Greater Manchester Police bosses have released 800 officers - including 80 from GMP Wigan Division - to travel to the capital to beef up security during the Games which begin tomorrow.

Annual leave has been restricted and all training put on hold for the duration of the Games.

However, there will never be more than 349 GMP officers on duty during London 2012 on any given day.

And bosses were quick to assure borough residents today that front line policing won’t be affected.

Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Terry Sweeney said: “The Olympic Games is the largest ever pre-planned policing operation this country has ever put together and it is right that all forces pool their resources to ensure it is a success.

“We are supporting the national response while at the same time recognising the need to deliver events in Greater Manchester and at the same time maintain policing on the streets and within our communities.

“Due to operations commitments we are only making them available for 69 days, considerably less than the 100 or so being provided by some of our colleagues in other forces.

“We are providing more than 800 officers to the national operation, but there will never be more than 349 on duty for the Olympics on any given day.

“In reality, there will often only be a handful of GMP officers on duty for some of the days.

“I can assure people that front-line policing here will not be effected and we are of course acutely aware of the disorder in Manchester and Salford last summer, but I can reassure everyone that, as ever, we have a number of contingency plans in place should we have to face similar challenges this summer.”

In addition, annual leave has been restricted across the force, nonessential training has been postponed and the Special Constabulary and volunteers will also play a “vital role.”

Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Authority Coun Paul Murphy said: “The decision to send the officers to support the Olympics policing operation has been made with the full understanding of the Police Authority.

“All members have been fully briefed and we are all proud to be part of this national event.

“I’d also like to reassure the community that local policing will not be affected while the Force plays its role in making sure the Games are safe and secure.”