West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has warned the force may not be able to cope with helping to police Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK.

Last time President Trump visited the country, West Midlands Police was forced to provide 738 officers to help guard the president and manage crowds.

As the second-largest force in the country, it is expecting to be asked to provide hundreds of officers again.

But it’s already attempting to deal with an increase in violence and horrific knife attacks in the region, and had lost 2,000 officers in the past nine years due to funding cuts.

Mr Jamieson said: “I am concerned that West Midlands Police may again have to support the security operation for the visit of the US President.

“Knife crime has risen by 85% since 2012 and the demands on the police are greater than ever.

“It is really frustrating that this visit has been called, but I am more worried about the impact it may have on West Midlands Police.

“We have lost over 2,000 officers and £175 million since 2010.”

The Government has invited Mr Trump to make a state visit to the UK in June but the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson, has warned that he expects violence in the region to rise as the weather grows warmer.

He told a House of Commons inquiry: “Our violence rates will go up in the summer.”

Prime Minister Theresa May greets U.S. President Donald Trump at Chequers on July 13, 2018 in Aylesbury, England.

Referring to three teenagers who died in knife attacks earlier this year, he said: “If you look at the three murders we have had in Birmingham, they happened in a very hot 10-day period when the street population grew huge, so I brace myself for summer, because summer is very demanding on violence.”

West Midlands Police sent more than 400 officers to help local forces in London and the south of England during last year’s visit by the President.

 

Others helped guard Mr Trump when he made a two-day visit to his Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, where he played golf and had private meetings.

The force asked officers to work overtime and had to cancel 1,000 “rest days” - days off owed to officers.

It meant the officers were then owed time off in the future.

Concerned: David Jamieson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Midlands

Prime Minister Theresa May has hailed this year’s planned visit as a chance for the UK and the US “to strengthen our already close relationship”, while the White House said it would “reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship” between the two nations.

The President will hold bilateral talks with Mrs May at Downing Street during the visit from June 3-5, and will take part in commemorations in Portsmouth marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Security is expected to be high and the organisation Stand Up To Trump said campaigners have pledged to mobilise huge numbers in response to the president’s trip.

 

Anti-Trump campaigners hope to fly the Donald Trump blimp - the president depicted as a nappy-wearing baby - over London once again, as they did during his 2018 trip.

A number of MPs have called for the UK’s invitation to be rescinded.

Yardley MP Jess Phillips said women were 'baited and heckled' in Birmingham every week.
Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips

A House of Commons motion accusing Mr Trump of “misogynism, racism and xenophobia” has so far been signed by 61 MPs including Jess Phillips (Lab Birmingham Yardley) and Adrian Bailey (Lab West Bromwich East), The motion “calls on the Prime Minister and the Government to rescind the advice to offer a full state visit to President Trump”.

This year’s visit comes as violent crime has been rising in the West Midlands.

Official figures show West Midlands Police recorded 65,914 violent crimes in the 12 months ending September 2018, including 44 homicides.

There were 3,108 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded by West Midlands Police in this period.