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Kent Police could cancel leave if there's a "no deal" Brexit

By Paul Francis

Kent Police has denied reports it could cancel leave and pull in officers on their rest days in the event of a "no deal" Brexit.

A leaked document drawn up by the National Police Co-ordination Centre supposedly sets out contingency plans by forces to deal with a range of potential problems after March 29.

Among its claims was the Kent force was prepared to unilaterally cancel leave in the weeks running up to and immediately after the Brexit deadline.

Police stock image
Police stock image

But the force denied it had reached any decisions on policing numbers and how it would deal with a range of scenarios related to Brexit.

Assistant chief constable Peter Ayling said: "We remain in consultation with government departments and partner agencies to understand how policing in Kent will look after Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

"No decisions have been made regarding staff levels and leave allowance. Our priority is to keep people safe and help partners keep the county moving.”

According to media reports, forces could need to call on the military if there are shortages of food and medicine and that in turn may lead to civil disorder and "widespread protest which could then escalate into disorder".

It also warns of massive traffic queues at ports, leading to "unprecedented and overwhelming" disruption in the wider road network.

There could also be a rise in crimes such as theft along with the need to implement Operation Stack not just in Kent but other regions where there are ports.

The leak triggered a mixed response from some members of the Kent Police Federation on its Facebook page.

One commented: “We struggle to plan for New Year’s Eve and we know when that’s coming every year.” Another said the report was scare mongering while some speculated that it was a deliberate attempt to get more money.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, responding to a question about the leaked report on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show said the public need not worry and that departments had to "prepare for all possible outcomes".

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