With less than a month to go until the start of the Commonwealth Games, West Midlands Police has revealed its plans to help launch the event. Up to 3,300 officers will be involved on any one day for the duration of Birmingham 2022, it has been announced

City cops have been preparing for more than two years, training staff to ensure security and policing plans are well rehearsed and ready to be put into action from July 28. Set to be the biggest sporting event in Birmingham’s history, the Commonwealth Games will bring some 6,500 athletes and officials from 72 nations and territories to the city.

Running until August 8, the 11-day competition will include 280 events across 19 sports and eight para sports. Police officers from across the country will also be flocking to Birmingham to cover the event, bringing together resources from drones, police dogs, firearms and traffic teams, as well as local authorities and government departments.

The team policing the Games will become the 10th biggest police force in the country for the duration of the event. But WMP intends for its presence to be “unobtrusive”, taking a backseat to the Games itself.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward, who is running the police operation, said: “I’m confident our planning, professional testing and exercising, plus the wealth of experience across our teams and our partners, will combine to deliver a safe and secure Birmingham 2022. There’s no doubt this is a big police operation incorporating a range of resources including drones, police dogs, firearms, traffic and other specialist police teams.

“There will also be plain clothes officers mingling with crowds to be on the lookout for anything suspicious. But success for us is that the policing operation during the Games is unobtrusive.

“We want to offer reassurance that we’re here to keep people safe and have been planning that for more than two years – but we won’t be intrusive because we just want people to enjoy some world class sport, safe in the knowledge we’re here should anyone want us.

“But we’d ask attendees to be vigilant as you’d expect with any large gathering and to report anything to us that doesn’t look right. This is a great opportunity to showcase Birmingham and the wider West Midlands on a global scale and we have an important role to play.”

Source: Emily Collis