Police Federation boss warns of 'summer of disorder' in Norfolk

Extinction Rebellion Norwich protestors marching against the Police and Crime Bill on Saturday (Apri

Extinction Rebellion Norwich protestors marching against the Police and Crime Bill on Saturday (April 17). - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Lockdown easing, protests and Euro 2020 could all lead to a "summer of disorder" in the county, Norfolk Police Federation has warned.

The organisation said officers were already fatigued after "an extremely challenging year", adding the force was bracing itself for extra demands on its resources over the next few months.

The rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament kicks off in June, coinciding with the planned reopening of nightclubs in line with the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

Norfolk Police Federation chair Andy Symonds said annual leave embargoes and re-rostered rest days had already been put in place, but added he was worried about the extra strain being put on officers.

Norfolk Police Federation chairman Andy Symonds. Picture: Police Federation

Norfolk Police Federation chairman Andy Symonds. - Credit: Police Federation

He said: "I have some real concerns around our capacity to cope after a year of policing this pandemic.

"Officers are not fresh and ready to go; they are fatigued. Therefore, it's vital that we in the federation continually push, support and make those strong representations to help mitigate the pressures being placed upon the officers we represent.

"But through all of these pressures and demands currently being placed upon officers, which will only increase as the summer approaches, my colleagues will rise to the challenge as they always do.

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"In turn, the force and the Federation has a duty of care towards my colleagues who are on the sharp end of policing."

Police patrol amongst the Saturday shoppers in Gentleman's Walk, as the Covid restrictions are due t

Police are preparing for a 'summer of disorder', according to the Norfolk Police Federation. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Several Kill the Bill protests have already taken place in Norfolk of late, including a march through Norwich on April 17 and a more understated gathering in King's Lynn earlier in the month.

ACC Nick Davison, local policing lead at Norfolk Constabulary, said: "As a county, people have in the main adhered to the regulations and worked together to protect each other.

"As we move into the summer months and the restrictions look likely to lessen, Norfolk has specific, regularly deployed, policing plans for the night-time economy and officers will deal robustly with any issues if this is needed.

"It is crucial as a police service we are available when people need us and we will work with our communities to ensure this takes place."

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