BOBBIES tasked with keeping Olympic crowds safe have left the region in preparation for the games.
The contingent of Durham Constabulary officers were given a briefing by Assistant Chief Constable Michael Banks as they prepared to leave their training centre for the capital yesterday.
The force is offering support for a total of 60 days, with up to 68 officers on Olympic duty and a total of 130 involved in the operation.
Some of those travelling to police the games are general beat officers, but the larger number deployed involves those with specialist skills.
These include public order officers, search teams, dog handlers, authorised firearms officers and police motorcyclists.
The force has been working on a plan for several months which will allow it to carry on its everyday duties as normal, despite offering the mutual aid.
Annual leave has been restricted, non-essential training postponed and working arrangements reviewed to ensure any potential gaps in staffing are backfilled.