Met defends deployment of east London officers to cover COP26 summit

Twenty-five East Area officers were sent to Glasgow for COP26

25 east area officers were sent to Glasgow for COP26 - Credit: East Area Met Police

The Met Police has defended sending officers from east London to police the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

There were 25 officers from the east area command unit - which covers Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge - deployed to the event.

The Met sent almost 1,000 officers in total, according to an east area spokesperson, after Police Scotland requested support from other forces.

The event, which saw global leaders meet in the Scottish city, was described as "one of the largest and most complex operations in the history of UK policing".

Despite sending resources to the conference, a Met spokesperson said it had remained "resilient" and officers continued to support communities.

"Across the Met, a number of specialist policing resources were deployed on mutual aid to Police Scotland, including officers trained in public order tactics.

“Over the years, the Met has benefitted by being supported by police forces across England, Wales and Scotland. This interoperability is essential in ensuring that police forces remain highly resilient and can respond to major incidents or periods of significant disorder."

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The east area officers spent two weeks north of the border and their work included responding to protests aimed at significantly disrupting the event, Insp Thomas Watson explained.

When asked how much was paid for the east area officers to stay in Glasgow, the Met referred this paper to Police Scotland, which said final policing costs were still to be worked out.

One incident they were called to involved seizing a giant inflatable Loch Ness monster that activists were attempting to float on the River Clyde.

East Area officers seized an inflatable Loch Ness monster while in Glasgow

East area officers seized an inflatable Loch Ness monster while in Glasgow - Credit: East Area Met Police

Insp Watson said: “It was a very interesting experience policing not only the COP26 event but also Glasgow city centre.

"All in all we had a fantastic time and were made to feel very welcome. We have come away with some good memories and a sense of achievement having contributed to COP26’s success and representing the Met and east area command unit."

The Met spokesperson added that it was proud to join police forces nationwide in supporting the delivery of "a safe and secure event".

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