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Brexit contingency planning sees police officers from 33 forces across England and Wales called on to help out in Kent

Police officers from 33 forces have been deployed to help Kent Police manage Brexit contingency plans, it has emerged.

Officers from as far afield as Gwent in Wales, Devon and Cornwall and Yorkshire have all been assisting Kent, chiefly on the traffic management scheme in place to deal with disruption and delays around the Channel ports, along with help at lorry parks.

Operation Brock on the coast-bound M20 at Junction 9. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Operation Brock on the coast-bound M20 at Junction 9. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Many of the problems anticipated after Brexit on Kent’s road network have largely not materialised and traffic levels have resumed to normal levels, with more than 6,000 lorries a day now leaving the county via Kent ports.

There were more than 200,000 freight movements across both ports - Dover and Eurotunnel - during January, including both import and export traffic.

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.

At the same time, it underlined that the costs of calling on other forces would be met by the government.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: "As part of Kent Police’s contingency planning mutual aid officers have been requested to assist the force.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix

"Mutual aid provides valued support between forces, something Kent Police frequently contributes resources to support other forces in times of need.

"Kent Police recover EU exit related costs from the Home Office.”

She acknowledged there remained the potential for disruption particularly when the current restrictions of non-essential travel were lifted.

"Whilst it is pleasing that we have not yet experienced any significant issues on Kent’s roads, we are continuing to closely monitor daily traffic levels so any problems that may emerge can be quickly addressed,” she said.

"We are also aware that the roads are currently quieter than usual due to the national Covid-19 lockdown, and that disruption in the future remains a distinct possibility.

Officers from 33 police forces across England were called in to help in Kent. Stock image
Officers from 33 police forces across England were called in to help in Kent. Stock image

"We therefore cannot afford to be complacent.”

In an indication of the burden of dealing with the consequences of managing Operation Brock, the Kent Resilience Forum said some 6,000 traffic cones, 600 traffic management signs and more than 120 other items of road furniture including CCTV cameras and lights had been installed by Highways England.

The forces who have helped Kent Police are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Cheshire
  • Cumbria
  • West Yorkshire
  • North Yorkshire
  • Humberside
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Devon & Cornwall
  • Avon & Somerset
  • Wiltshire
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Leicestershire
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Lincolnshire
  • Warwickshire
  • West Mercia
  • West Midlands
  • Essex
  • Bedfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Norfolk
  • Derbyshire
  • Metropolitan Police
  • City of London
  • British Transport Police
  • Staffordshire
  • Gwent

How is Brexit going to affect Kent? For all the latest news, views and analysis visit our dedicated page here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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