Trump visit “puts extra pressure” on authorities as West Yorkshire Police faces busiest ever time

Donald Trump demonstration.
Donald Trump demonstration.

Donald Trump’s visit to the UK “put extra pressure” on authorities in West Yorkshire, the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has said.

A total of 296 officers from the force were assigned away from the area, as the American president made his first state trip last week.

And the president’s arrival sparked a number of demonstrations across the country, all of which need police supervision.

But the timing of the visit coincided with West Yorkshire Police struggling to cope with record levels of demand. Last Saturday the force handled more than 2,300 reports of emergencies, the highest ever number for a single day in the region.

Meanwhile, callers dialling the police’s 101 non-emergency number are waiting  an average of nearly 10 minutes for the phone to be answered.

Speaking at a Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday, PCC Mark Burns-Williamson said: “In terms of the anti-Trump protests, we’ve got a significant deployment that were requested.

“It just adds extra pressure at a time we need our resources. But they’re not available and having to deal with the visit of an American president.”

The PCC also branded the sleeping quarters in Essex that were originally set aside for officers policing the Trump visit, a “fiasco”.

Essex Police were forced to apologise and find alternative accommodation after pictures emerged of rows of camp beds lining a gym, which had originally been set aside for visiting officers.

The situation attracted widespread criticism, including from Halifax MP Holly Lynch.

Mr Burns-Williamson added that the Police Federation had been involved in discussions to have the sleeping quarters changed.