Over 10,000 police officers put on standby to protect MPs amid growing fears of Brexit riots 2 years ago

Over 10,000 police officers put on standby to protect MPs amid growing fears of Brexit riots

Police forces may cancel officers' leave to ensure public safety in the coming weeks

Amid the growing tension around the Brexit debate, police forces are putting over 10,000 specially trained officers on 24-hour alert nationwide to deal with public disorder and to protect MPs.

Advertisement

A number of MPs on both sides have been targeted as the House of Commons continues to disagree on how, or whether, to leave the European Union and authorities are ready to act.

Officers' leave could be cancelled and the army could be called in in extreme circumstances, with police chiefs admitting that the extra pool of public order officers would only be able to mobilise for around a week before normal operations were impacted.

Charlie Hall, Chief Constable of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), stated on Thursday morning: "We have developed and rehearsed mobilisation plans all across the UK, we have been working those, I have been testing those over the last few months to ensure they will work effectively for us.

"We are confident that those plans are well in place now and will serve us well. That will enable us to deploy well over 10,000 officers, mobilised right across the country to do that."

There have also been warnings for key figures in the Brexit debate to temper their language and not stoke the tension among remain and leave campaigners.

"This is highly emotive as an issue as we all know and clearly everyone will have their opinions," NPCC chairmanĀ Martin Hewitt said.

Advertisement

"We are in an incredibly febrile atmosphere as a result of the whole EU exit scenario.

"I think there is a responsibility on those individuals that have a platform and have a voice, to communicate in a way that is temperate and is not in any way going to inflame people's views."

The 10,000 officers on standby is said to be higher than the number available to deal with the 2011 riots although the NPCC maintains there is no intelligence to suggest any immediate threat to public order.