West Yorkshire concerns over Northern Ireland police plan
Jun 1 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A SCHEME to send West Yorkshire Police officers to work in Northern Ireland has come under fire.
Police Federation officials are concerned at the risk that the officers may face in the province.
Police from both West and South Yorkshire forces are being trained for deployment in Northern Ireland if the troubles flare up again. The officers would be used in "exceptional circumstances", such as rise in trouble on the streets, to patrol alongside Northern ireland officers.
But Michael Downes, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, said he had “considerable” concerns about the plans.
He said: “If police officers were deployed to Northern Ireland, I'd be really concerned about how the communities would receive those officers. They may become targets, because of where they come from.
“If they were to be deployed, there needs to be much more consultation and consideration given to the threats, and a whole range of issues that would cause us concern.
“There needs to be some very serious thought given to how the communities – and the criminal element of those communities – would receive these officers.”
Officers deployed from Britain would be put up in secure military accommodation.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said the training was part of the National ACPO Interoperability Programme, which aims to give police officers experience in other policing environments, both to “further their career development and to enable them to deploy in that environment should the need ever arise.”