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Concern for firearms officers in Cambridgeshire as Police Federation claims some in the Met are sleeping rough in London streets

By DPF Admin17th July 2014August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

Concerns have been raised for Cambridgeshire’s firearms officers after police in London were said to be sleeping rough due to changes in work patterns.

The Police Federation claimed the changes meant some rank-and-file officers are resorting to sleeping on the streets because they have no means of getting home to bed after finishing late shifts.

And leaders of the branch of the organisation in Cambridgeshire fear that because of the cash-saving move towards more collaboration with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and the centralisation of some services, including firearms, officers have to travel long commutes to work now.

So far there have been no reports of officers in the county sleeping rough, but there are concerns over the mental sharpness of officers carrying arms.

Oz Merrygold, general secretary of the federation in Cambridgeshire, said: “I have had no reports of anything like this happening in Cambridgeshire. It appears a specific problem for Met officers due to the commute involved to get to work. We have had some concerns in Cambridgeshire at the distances some officers are travelling to get home, especially those that are working in collaborated units which can involve officers from Cambridgeshire working in Bedfordshire or Hertfordshire.

“Officers in those units which include firearms, traffic and dogs can sometimes find themselves working in Luton or Watford towards the end of a shift. To date however this has been managed appropriately by the force and it has not become an issue.

“I am concerned at the reports that my colleagues in the Metropolitan Police have reported. Due to the pressures of the job and the incidents officers attend they can often find themselves in a situation where quick and decisive clear thinking is required. It is therefore obvious that all officers should get sufficient rest between shifts so that they are physically and mentally alert for duty. This is even more important if those officers are being expected to carry a firearm.”

A spokesman for the Cambridgeshire force said there has been no suggestion officers are sleeping rough because of longer commutes.

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