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London police release new travel rules after Dubai trip controversy | CBC News



London police release new travel rules after Dubai trip controversy | CBC News

London police officers who want to travel internationally for training will have to jump through more administrative hoops before they get approval. 

The London Police Services Board, which oversees the police service, will be asked next week to approve a new international travel policy, created after CBC News first reported that several members of the Emergency Response Unit were sent to Dubai for the UAE SWAT Challenge in Dubai in February. 

The trip, which London police chief Thai Truong called a valuable training opportunity, saw the officers competing against many international teams, including a Chechyan special forces group accused of human rights atrocities in Ukraine. 

“In our limited capacity to navigate international affairs and geopolitics, it became imperative to seek expertise to make well-informed decisions regarding international training opportunities for our members,” Truong wrote in report about the newly-developed policy. 

“By establishing the attached procedure and framework, we will ensure that London Police Service members can safely and effectively participate in international conferences and training sessions. The expert advice provided by our partners, the completion of the assessment tool by our division commanders, will help us make informed decisions and maintain proper oversight, ultimately enhancing the professional development of our members.”

After the trip came to light earlier this year, experts said having Canadian officers training alongside groups accused of human rights abuses damaged the image of Canada abroad. The new policy will force those wanting to travel internationally to consult with Global Affairs Canada and experts at Western University to learn about international affairs and geopolitics. 

Officers will also have to fill out a risk assessment questionnaire that tests whether the trip is safe, financially sound, aligns with the organization’s strategic plan and whether it “enhances brand awareness and brand equity” for the police service. 

The trip cost about $16,000 and was approved by the police chief. The new policy will be discussed next week. 

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