This Thursday will see the start of a three day visit to the United Kingdom by President Trump and it follows speculation that his previously planned trip was postponed by his administration due to concerns over protests.
From what you see in the media, nothing has really changed and there are expected to be protests his policies during this visit.
A visit by any US president is always a high-profile event which will place huge demands upon policing. In the case of President Trump, this demand has increased significantly because of his outspoken character and willingness to challenge stable norms.
The visit comes at a time when there is already huge demand on police resources due to the annual festival season, sporting events and the holiday season approaching, where there are so many large events which require many officers.
President Trumps visit will impact on these resources nationwide, where he will be in the Capital, Oxfordshire and Scotland.
In my 26 years`s of policing I have never known such a large demand on specialist officers, from search trained personnel, firearms and public order units – the numbers are really quite eye watering, but necessary.
The UK has always prided itself on being able to cope with such demands, but above all, keeping visitors to the UK and the public safe, so this visit is very important too from this perspective.
Core policing is equally important, and I know that in Hampshire Constabulary, all leave, except that already agreed, has been cancelled. I`m sure many other forces have done the same to ensure that regular policing demands are met.
I feel it is important for the public to know that when they see or hear about the huge police operation with a visit such as next weeks, that they are re-assured that there will be officers available to respond to their needs, however, no doubt some of the lower priority calls may take a little longer to respond to.
Except for a few specialist roles, the regular officers who the public see out on patrol will be some of those required to assist with specialist roles, because they are trained to fulfil these roles at certain times, such as search trained officers.
Police forces operate a mutual aid programme too, where specialist resources can be sent to support another force when requested, because each force will not be able to cope with such a demand otherwise. This ensures that the security and safety of the public and visitors is provided for.
It is not just the police resourcing that has to be considered – protesters are a big consideration on this occasion, but again, this is something which is planned to make sure that a person`s right to a lawful and peaceful protest is maintained, together with the needs of the public in going about their daily business.
Police forces have Protest Liaison Officers and these people will aim to hold meetings with organisers of protests so that they can make sure that those involved protest lawfully and their actions will not have an adverse effect on the public.
However, not all will engage and there must be a degree of flexibility built in, where protest numbers are sometimes unknown, and the location and timing may change.
It is the expected protests which have placed additional demands on police for this official visit because previous US Presidents have not attracted such controversy.
In terms of what is lawful when people protest, this will mainly centre around the freedom of movement, where it is illegal to obstruct any highway (road or path) and the use of words, behaviour or signs which may cause offence to the public which are covered under the Public order Act of 1986.
Section 5 of this Act will state that it is an offence to: ` use threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or to display any writing, sign or other visible representation which threatening or abusive within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress`
Many of you will have read about one planned protest, where a group has raised over £17,000 to tether a large balloon of the President wearing a nappy, which will be tethered in Parliament Square.
The Mayor, Mr Khan, has agreed to allow this where there are no grounds to oppose it because a person has a right to a freedom of speech and to protest.
I`m sure you may hold your own views about this one, but no doubt there was much debate about the Public Order Act over this one!