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Tour de France in Yorkshire means huge policing operation

CyclingOfficers in West Yorkshire and across the region are gearing up to police one of the biggest events in the force’s history – the Tour de France.

They will be joined by colleagues from North and South Yorkshire as tens of thousands of sports fans pour into the area to watch as the world famous race comes to UK shores.

Annual leave and rest days have been cancelled to ensure there are sufficient officers to police the event as cyclists race from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales National Park and then from York to Sheffield on 5 and 6 July.

The operation is incredibly “staff intensive”, according to Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation. Officers will be required to prevent public disorder, deal with road closures, prevent and detect any crime that emerges as a result of the increased visitors to the area and provide a visible presence.

Mr Smart said: “We understand the need to have extra staff on duty to maximise public safety, but it is important that officers on the day have the right equipment and kit. If its going to be hot and officers are going to be standing outside all day in the sun, we need to ensure that officers’ welfare needs are taken care of.”

He added: “From the federation’s point of view, the command team have worked with us and given us lots of notice. It is just another of those events that are taking place this summer that means our members will be busy.

“Along with the Chapel Town Carnival, the Leeds Festival, the start of the football season and other events – there is going to be an impact on West Yorkshire Police officers. We know we have got to do it, it is just making sure officers have a work/life balance.”

Date posted: July 3, 2014

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