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Thursday 22nd July 2010 (Andrew Griffiths)

BURTON’S new MP is set to become a policeman for the night after asking to see how frontline officers deal with problems ‘first hand’.

Andrew Griffiths will work a night shift with officers from Staffordshire Police tomorrow.

His decision came after a recent spate of violence in Burton town centre, culminated in the fatal stabbing of 21-year-old Connor Upton.

Mr Griffiths will now take to the streets to ‘see for himself’ what the police have to deal with on a typical weekend night shift.

He said: “This night shift came about as a direct result of the spike in violent incidents in Burton, including beatings and the stabbing of Connor Upton, and a meeting I held with Chief Superintendent Mick Harrison.

“We discussed the town centre problems and I asked him if I could take part in shift on a Friday with officers to experience the situation first hand.

“As many people will know, I have spoken at length in Parliament about the problems of late licensing and the trouble it is causing our police forces and the NHS.

“The continued problems keep officers occupied for longer and put an even greater strain on staff at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.

“I also believe that it is okay for some people to sit back and pontificate about a problem, but I wanted to venture out with officers to see the situation and difficulties they face for myself.

“The police were very helpful and gratefully accepted my request.

“I will be taking a full night shift from 6pm on Friday to 3am om Saturday.

“I am excited and looking forward to finding out what these brave men and women have to put up with.

“They have to deal with an increasingly frustrating situation and I am sure that this night will be an eye opener.

“Hopefully my experiences will allow me to stand up in Parliament in future debates and speak with authority about the problems faced by frontline police officers.”

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