Portsmouth, Hampshire, will be the location for the commemorative event to remember D-Day 75 years on and although this huge event is being hosted in Hampshire, it is a national event with international presence.
For Hampshire Constabulary, this is the biggest event that it has taken the lead in policing and the preparations for it, together with the event itself, has taken an enormous effort in organising.
The Anniversary is an opportunity to pay respect to those involved in this historic event 75 years ago and to host the veterans who are still with us.
Portsmouth played a pivotal role in D-Day where troops left from the harbour to travel to France and the residents of the City will be proud to host the remembrance occasion, so too will the City Council.
Hampshire Constabulary are proud to be the lead force in making sure that the event is safe and enjoyable for those who attend, where in excess of 60,000 visitors will come to the City.
The Queen, senior members of the Royal Family and world leaders or their representatives will be coming, together with the world`s media.
Large-scale events such as these provide an opportunity for all manner of situations and contingency plans are put in place for all eventualities.
The potential incidents will range from terrorism at the top of the scale, to minor injury through accident at the other end. The potential incidents in-between the top and bottom of this scale are numerous and varied, including protests (not associated to the event, but political)
Safety for attendees is paramount and this is ensured via a well-planned traffic management system and areas where the public can safely watch the parade and other associated displays, such as the Red Arrows aerobatic team.
The safety of the VIP`s attending is also important. This has been the focus of some of the preparatory work, where every residence within certain key areas will have been visited to establish who is living there or planning to stay, to minimise any risk that some people may pose to people or the event.
With all large events, no police force has all the necessary numbers of officers, including those with a specialist role, nor the resources to manage alone. Nor will they have the money within their budgets to pay for the policing operation.
Events such as these rely on what is called `mutual aid` where police forces will have agreements with each other to assist in providing additional resources and the specialist officers and equipment.
Hampshire Constabulary in this case will absorb some of the cost, since policing events is regarded as routine policing, but it is the scale of the resources that are different and money for the extra resources is provided by the Home Office, since this is a national event.
Events naturally draw officers away from their day to day functions and there will always be a reduced number of officers available during occasions such as these, however, the public can be assured that there will always be enough officers to respond to the other demands, in particular the emergency calls, however, some of the low risk and non-urgent calls may have a slightly delayed response over the short period of any event.
I have personally had an involvement in some of the preparations for the event and I have further duties during it too. From a personal point of view, it is events such as these that stick in the mind and will form key memories after any police officer`s career.