WEST Midlands Police says it is ‘well rehearsed and ready to go’ as the clock ticks down to the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The force has been in training for more than two years to ensure the security and policing plans are on top form from July 28, when the games begin.
West Midlands Police will be working with officers from police forces across the country – plus other emergency services, local authorities and government departments – as they make their way to the region to support the policing of the Games.
The force says the Games policing team becomes the 10th biggest ‘police force’ in the country for the duration of the event with up to 3,300 officers involved on any one day.
Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward – who’s running the police operation – said: ““I’m confident our planning, professional testing and exercising, plus the wealth of experience across our teams and our partners, will combine to deliver a safe and secure Birmingham 2022.
“There’s no doubt this is a big police operation incorporating a range of resources including drones, police dogs, firearms, traffic and other specialist police teams.
“There will also be plain clothes officers mingling with crowds to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
“But success for us is that the policing operation during the Games is unobtrusive.
“We want to offer reassurance that we’re here to keep people safe and have been planning that for more than two years – but we won’t be intrusive because we just want people to enjoy some world class sport, safe in the knowledge we’re here should anyone want us.
“But we’d ask attendees to be vigilant as you’d expect with any large gathering and to report anything to us that doesn’t look right.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase Birmingham and the wider West Midlands on a global scale and we have an important role to play.”