Following news that the world’s major leaders will be meeting in Northern Ireland in 2013, the scale and scope of the security operation is beginning to emerge.
With the UK chairing the G8 nations gathering next year, Prime Minister David Cameron has chosen the Lough Erne golf resort in Fermanagh as the venue.
Within hours of the announcement, Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Tom Elliott said the locals were “starting to realise that the area will be under virtual lockdown for the two days. We imagine that it will be impossible to move.”
The G8 has attracted mass anti-capitalist protests in the past which have often descended into serious public disorder.
It was revealed yesterday that the PSNI has banned any further applications for holiday leave around the time of the June conference and is preparing to bring in at least 2,000 officers from other UK police forces.
According to a BBC report on Friday, PSNI commanders were aware the summit would be held in Fermanagh at the beginning of last month, and had already started make preparations.
The commanders issued a directive restricting leave next summer due to what they called the unprecedented policing operation.
In 2005, when Glenagles golf resort in Scotland hosted the last G8 summit to he held in the UK, 10,000 police officers were on duty.
According to the PSNI, mutual aid arrangements were a “key part” of contingency planning by all UK police forces in dealing with exceptional circumstances.
“There is nothing new about mutual aid and it is enabled by specific legislation and the new Strategic Policing Requirement,” the police said.
“It would be remiss of the PSNI not to have contingency plans in place in order to deal with such exceptional circumstances should they arise, which is why we participate in the ACPO Interoperability Programme.
“The PSNI have both received and provided specialist assistance under these arrangements and have trained and exercised with a number of police forces in the UK.”