It’s a year to go until the Commonwealth Games and West Midlands Police are taking a positive approach to encouraging officers to put themselves forward for mutual aid for the iconic event.
The operation for Birmingham 2022 - named Operation Unity - is the biggest the history of West Midlands Police and the Force is committed to taking a fresh approach, particularly in terms of engaging with colleagues from other forces at an early stage.
As part of this, it has developed a bespoke ‘one-stop shop’ site for all Games-related content on its Knowledge Hub.
Inspector Donna Jones, Op Unity engagement lead, said: “We’ve all been on mutual aid deployments where you turn up at some ungodly hour in a place you’ve never been, with very little information or support and just been expected to ‘get on with it’. Birmingham 2022 will not be like that.
“We’ve learnt from those experiences and spent time listening to colleagues from across the UK about what they want mutual aid deployments to look like and we’re working hard to give them the most positive experience we can.
“We’ve had a planning team in place since 2017 and as well as the operational and security plans, the welfare of officers coming to work on the Games has been at the forefront of our planning.
“Everything from accommodation, catering and general welfare has been given a real focus, we know how important these things are and we want to get them right. We know if we support our officers, they’ll support us and help deliver one of the best events this country has ever seen.
“The Knowledge Hub site will feature all operational information including the different roles needed for the Games, all the different venues and locations and also the important stuff like what the accommodation will be like.
“We’re asking officers to sign up so they can get a really good idea of what Birmingham 2022 will look like for them and help them decide if they want to get involved.
“Working on such an iconic, international event is a fantastic, once in a career opportunity and we want to encourage as many officers as possible to get involved.
“We will continue to build on this site up until Birmingham 2022, and encourage anyone looking to join us next summer to register on Knowledge Hub and join the ‘Commonwealth Games 2022’ page for more information.
The Commonwealth Games will run from 28 July to 8 August 2022.