Wales

London 2012: Second South Wales Police officer's public safety warning

A second police officer has claimed public safety could be at risk as front-line officers are deployed to help with Olympic security.

The South Wales Police (SWP) officer, who wanted to remain anonymous, told BBC Wales a member of the public will be "badly" hurt as a result.

It comes after an officer claimed on Tuesday front-line policing was being "decimated" in the wake of the the G4S fiasco.

But the force denies a security issue.

The concerned officer said: "Without doubt it's affecting the front-line troops of the police and Army - we're carrying the can for the very poor service provided by G4S.

"The scary thing is - a member of the public is going to be hurt badly or a police officer is going to be hurt badly.

"The perception of most officers is it's going to take an officer to get hurt for the bosses to wake up to the problems that we're facing."

Those concerns have been dismissed by SWP, which is sending 20 officers to plug the gaps in Cardiff left by G4S and a further 165 to London.

The first event of the Games kicks off at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in a week's time, with a women's football match.

The force will put murder squad detectives back in uniform to help boost numbers.

"If our murder squad are wearing their uniforms they will only need to be deployed if we have such a serious incident happen," assistant chief constable (ACC) Julian Kirby said.

"If they don't, they are police officers and the flexibility which the police deliver is something unique here in the UK."

Dyfed-Powys Police is sending 132 officers to the Games, while 180 will go from North Wales Police.

Gwent Police is sending 206 officers.

'Specialist teams'

"I don't think the people of Gwent will notice any difference to the level of policing they receive. We'll still have the committed local officers working in the local communities," said Chief Insp Dan Taylor, of Gwent Police.

"Specialist officers will be going to other parts of the country but we've ensured that specialist teams within the force will still be supported and still provide the policing they require."

On Tuesday, an anonymous South Wales Police officer claimed that a cut in officers on duty could also mean delays to 999 calls.

He told BBC Wales, officers felt their safety was at risk as they were spread too thinly.

"We are stretched so much, not only is the public going to suffer, not only is there going to be a danger to the public, but also officers dealing with calls," he said.

"An officer or a member of the public is going to get hurt because the response won't be there despite what's being said from head office."

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