Chesterfield MP comments on deployment of Derbyshire police officers to assist Brexit traffic chaos in Kent
Chesterfield’s MP says he has assurances from Derbyshire police that secondments to help shipments affected by the Brexit deal will not mean fewer officers on the county’s streets.
Officers from forces across the country, including Derbyshire, have been deployed to Kent to deal with contingency plans concerning the changes in rules when travelling to EU countries.
They are being used largely on the traffic management scheme which is in place to deal with disruption and delays around the Channel ports, along with helping at lorry parks.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said it was part of an ‘ongoing, national, mutual aid agreement between police forces’.
The town’s Labour MP, Toby Perkins, said he had spoken to police chiefs who have confirmed it would not affect the number of officers working in Derbyshire.
"Clearly there are massive problems in terms of getting products in and out of the UK and that has implications for businesses across the country,” Mr Perkins said.
"So I understand why it is happening, but this seems to be the reality of Brexit right now.
"I have assurances from Derbyshire Constabulary that it won’t make a difference to policing in the county and this is officers being paid overtime and fitting it into existing rotas and schedules.
"It is in everyone’s interest to ensure trade is being handled as smoothly as possible at the border.”
Mr Perkins added: "I do feel though that it will leave people questioning whether this is the Brexit deal we were promised – if it requires police being seconded to Kent to deal with the fall out.”
The Derbyshire police spokesperson said she could not provide details on the number of officers from the county involved for ‘security reasons’.
Kent Police said the assistance of other forces was not unusual for major events but said it could not disclose exact numbers because of operational reasons.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: "As part of Kent Police’s contingency planning mutual aid officers have been requested to assist the force.
"Mutual aid provides valued support between forces, something Kent Police frequently contributes resources to support other forces in times of need.”