Leicestershire police officers commended for their part in Olympics
Leicestershire’s Chief Constable Simon Cole has congratulated his own Team GB for their handling of last summer’s Olympic Games.
Mr Cole handed out commendations to 15 officers and staff yesterday for their “outstanding work” in the run-up to and during the summer’s extravaganza.
The team, led by Assistant Chief Constable Steph Morgan, received their certificates at force headquarters in Enderby.
They were singled out for their handling of three major police operations – security around the pre-Games camp for the British and Japanese teams at Loughborough University, the smooth running of the torch relay and the deployment of about 200 Leicestershire officers to London and other Olympic sites during the summer.
Mr Cole said: “It’s important to recognise the work of the police officers, staff and partners who ensured we met the challenges of Olympic policing.
“All this was achieved while maintaining the focus on our duty to protect our communities, reducing crime to the lowest levels for 22 years. I am proud to have such an excellent team.”
Ms Morgan said local authorities across the region and nationally had helped everything run smoothly, including the torch relay, which was witnessed by 200,000 people across the county.
She said: “It was the largest peacetime event we have organised as a country and I’m very proud to have been part of it.
“A huge amount of work went into ensuring that the torch relay went safely.
“It was a massive team effort and everyone involved displayed a real ‘can-do’ attitude.
“We had to make some difficult management decisions, including canceling all annual leave. I think people were pretty tired by the autumn.
“You have to remember that we also had the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Leicester and we had to put in place an operation around that in quite a short space of time.
“We also ensured that normal day-to-day policing continued and that included dealing with some significant issues which came up, including a burglary problem which emerged with offenders coming across the county border into Leicestershire.”
Chief Superintendent Rachel Swann, head of the force’s tasking directorate, said: “We had never experienced anything on this scale before, so there was no template.
“It wasn’t without its challenges, but it was an honour and privilege to have been involved.”
Ivan Stafford, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: “It’s rare for senior officers to receive recognition at a chief constable’s awards ceremony, but in this case it’s fully deserved.
“Officers from top to bottom showed real dedication and we had a good, safe and secure Olympics.
“Just about everyone in the force was involved in some shape or form, even if it was just contributing in spirit or covering for colleagues deployed elsewhere.”
Ben Aherne, business development manager at Loughborough University, said: “2012 was a momentous year for Loughborough University, with both the Olympic Torch Relay and Team GB visiting our campus.
“Holding such significant events could only be achieved through building partnerships with key agencies such as Leicestershire police.
“As such we are delighted to hear that the constabulary is recognising the achievements of a range of officers, who played a key role in ensuring that our Olympic-related activities ran smoothly and that our campus remained secure at all times.”
The force managed to obtain £800,000 from the Home Office to off-set the cost of the operation.