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G8 News

03 Jun 2013

Boat patrols active on Fermanagh waterways

As part of the policing and security operation plans to 'police' Lough Erne prior to and during the G8 Summit, water-borne patrols have been stepped up.

Lower Lough Erne will be closed to boating traffic for a short time from the Lock Gates at Portora to an area north of the venue adjacent to Ross Point.  During the closure, no form of boat or vessel movement will be permitted within the closure zone, but shoreline activity such as land-based fishing will be permitted.

The exclusions will commence at lunchtime on Sunday June 16th and end on Tuesday night June 18th, though this may be subject to change because of operational issues.

Emergencies requiring the deployment of rescue vessels, such as those operated by the RNLI, will be facilitated. Police will be patrolling both closure points and will help those who need advice.

Officers will be using the ‘Lady Grey’, a vessel many local people will have seen patrolling the waters for several years.  Police will also be using a new boat that was commissioned by F District prior to the announcement of G8.

Due to the scale of the operation, boats and coxswains from other police services  These crews will be patrolling Lough Erne alongside local officers.  The Police Service fulfilled a similar mutual aid role when its officers helped out with the policing of the Olympics last year.

State-of-the art technology will be used, including night vision technology and communications links to civil agencies such as Coast Guard and RNLI.

Police have been working closely with agencies such as Waterways Ireland, the Rivers Agency and a wide range of others who have both direct and indirect interests in the Lough Erne waterways to ensure the impact on Lough users are highlighted and considered.

Extensive familiarisation training has been put in hand for officers who will be deployed in patrolling Lough Erne.  This is important not only from the aspect of knowledge of the waterway, but also to develop empathy and knowledge of the community that use it, where they fish, moor and visit.

Anyone found to have breached the restriction zone will be apprehended and referred to the criminal justice system.

UK Mutual Aid Officers Trained to Drive PSNI Armoured Landrovers

PSNI Officers from the Traffic and Driver Training Unit havetrained UK Mutual Aid officers to drive PSNI armoured landrovers for deployment during the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland in June.

Sevenhundred andthirty officers from forces across the UKhave successfully completed a specialist driver training course to equip them to drive armoured landrovers for the first time to assist with the significant policing operation during the G8 event.

The unprecedented training was conducted by fifteen PSNI trainers who were deployed on March 4th for four weeks to five police driving schools across the UK.

The Scottish Police College, Merseyside Police Driving School, Greater Manchester Police Driving School, South Wales Police Driving School and the Metropolitan Police Driving Schoolfacilitated the PSNI driver training.

All officers received intensive one to one training on how to drive the specialist vehicles and manage the specific handling characteristics as well as training on health and safety issues arising from driving or being carried in an armoured landrover. Driving instructors from the various police driving schools were also trained on the vehicles to allow them to continuesupervising practise before the G8 deployments.

PSNI Head of Training and Development, Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said "The Police Service of Northern Ireland Traffic and DriverTraining Unit delivers the highest standard of driver training and this specific course was designed to provide Mutual Aid officers with the knowledge and skills required for safe, effective operational deploymentduring the G8 Summit.

"Seven hundred and thirty officers were successfully trained.All of these officerswere alreadyexperienceddrivers ofpolice emergency vehicles.

This additional training was to familiarise them with thespecific features ofarmoured landrovers.

They now have the appropriate level of expertise required to assist with the significant policing operation that will be inplace around G8. The officerswere very impressed by the standardsof thePSNI training and are looking forward to their deployment in Northern Ireland".

Around three thousandsix hundred UK Mutual Aid officers will be deployed to assist the Police Service of Northern Ireland during the G8 Summit 2013.

Work begins to install security fencing for G8 Summit

As part of our role in preparing to deliver a safe and secure G8 event for everyone, a security fence is to be constructed at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Co. Fermanagh.

Installation work will begin on Friday 17 May. At this stage, traffic will not be affected as initial work will take place away from the road. Installation on the A46 road outside Enniskillen will begin on Saturday 1 June. To facilitate this, the A46, Shore Road, Enniskillen will be closed from Saturday 1 June.  The closure will operate from the Belleek side of the Magheradunbar junction to the layby at Carrickreagh.

Diversions will be signposted at the Derrygonnelly junction and in Belleek.  The road will remain closed until 26 June to enable the fence to be dismantled following the Summit close on 18 June. Further road closures are not expected.

Any changes to traffic and travel plans for G8 will be released to the public through the media, as well as the PSNI’s social networking pages on Facebook and Twitter.

Live traffic updates will be available on local television, radio and TrafficwatchNI website,

For more information

8th May 2013 G8 Policing and Security Operation Announced  

 The Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers and the Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced details of the policing and security operation for the G8 Summit at a press conference at Hillsborough Castle on Thursday 9th May, along with the Justice Minister David Ford and Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay.

At the briefing, the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said she had every confidence the PSNI could deliver a safe and secure summit as it was "truly a world class police force." She also confirmed that in addition to the 3,600 Mutual Aid officers from the UK, assistance would also be provided from the military and two private security firms.

She said, "The PSNI operation here will be supported by mutual aid assistance with police officers from England, Wales and Scotland, further assistance is going to be provided by two private security firms contracted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to help with security at venues on things like searches and perimeter security. That's around 600 staff provided by G4S and the Northern Ireland based company Eventsec."

The Chief Constable Matt Baggott said he was "deeply proud" that the PSNI "had been chosen to host the G8 Summit". He said, "This will be one of the largest policing operations ever conducted by the police service here. It is logistically huge, but we are fully prepared, we are equipped and we have the world class expertise and professionalism to support and facilitate a very successful summit.

He added, "We will do everything we can to make sure this is the most successful G8 Summit in history."

Outlining the context in which the UK G8 Summit 2013 will be held in the Chief Constable said, "The Summit is taking place at a time when crime is at its lowest for years. It's actually the lowest since we started recording crime in this way in the 1990's. Confidence in policing has never been higher and that is very encouraging for us.

"Despite the continuing challenges that we face from those wedded to the past, actually Northern Ireland is a very safe place. It's a safe place to work, to live and to visit."


2nd May 2013 PSNI Working With Federation of Small Businesses Ahead of G8 Summit

 Representatives of the small business sector in Northern Ireland have met with a high-powered delegation of political and security personnel to seek assurances about the impact of the G8 summit.

The meeting – arranged by the Federation of Small Businesses – posed questions to the Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster MLA, Downing Street officials and senior PSNI officers about the potential impact of security restrictions during the event and about the legacy of the summit for the local economy.

Business owners asked if the improved mobile phone and broadband provision for the summit would be retained afterwards. They also sought assurances on the duration of extra security measures before, during and after the event, road closures, and the raising of Fermanagh’s tourism profile both now and in the future.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "The G8 Summit is a tremendous opportunity once again to showcase Northern Ireland on the world stage. The staging of the event in Fermanagh will be a catalyst in the ongoing development of the region as a place in which to invest, to do business and, of course, to visit.”

"I welcome the opportunity this evening to engage directly with local business representatives and discuss the preparations that are currently being made for the Summit. I am determined that we not only capitalise on the opportunities that exist for local traders but that we create a lasting legacy for the region."

Also speaking at the FSB’s G8 event, PSNI Superintendent Alywin Barton, told attendees that the PSNI had been working closely with many partner agencies and engaging widely with a broad range of groups, including members of the community, the private and voluntary sector as well as local businesses in order to mitigate the potential for disruption to the community in the run up and during the G8 Summit in June.

"We are pleased to be able to speak to local business owners and address their concerns and we welcome the opportunity for future dialogue. The PSNI is responsible for policing and security at the event and our aim is to keep any disruption to business and community life to an absolute minimum where possible. As a police service, our primary duty is to ensure public safety and to this end, we invest significant effort in planning to enable this event to pass off peacefully, successfully and with the minimum disruption to the community in and around Fermanagh. We would like to reassure the local community and visitors to the county that their safety is a priority for us."

The FSB’s Northern Ireland Chairman, John Friel, said: “The G8 will be a major event for Northern Ireland which will present challenges and opportunities alike. We wanted to give our members the opportunity to come and put questions directly to a panel of key figures in the G8’s organisation. Following this event, we will be sharing the information by putting out a dedicated G8 Questions Answered to all of our Western Branch members, as well as posting information on our website.”                        

A wide range of FSB members attended, including the hospitality sector, catering, retail, farming and transport companies.

Mr Friel said: “We welcome the fact that the G8 is coming to Northern Ireland, but we want to ensure that the potential benefits for local businesses don’t evaporate once the world leaders leave town.

“We also want to ensure that a major event focusing on the world economy doesn’t have a negative impact on the local economy. “If we can build on the positive effects of the event, Northern Ireland and, particularly Fermanagh, could reap rewards; but the G8 legacy needs to be managed properly if that is to happen.”


24th April 2013 PSNI Announces G8 Marine Plan

 As part of our role in preparing to deliver a safe G8 event for everyone, planning has been taking place to police Lough Erne. This will involve implementing a marine plan, the aim of which is to deliver a safe and secure G8 while minimising disruption to users of the Lough.

A significant police operation will be in place in the lead up to and during the G8 Summit on 17th and 18th June. Meeting the ongoing needs of our community has been a key consideration and we have been working to reduce any potential inconvenience caused to users of Lough Erne.

There will be a closure of Lower Lough Erne from the Lock Gates at Portora to an area north of the Venue adjacent to Ross Point. During the closure, no form of boat or vessel movement will be permitted within the closure zone, however shoreline activity such as land based fishing will be permitted.

There will be stand off markers in place in advance of each closure. These are to help safeguard lough users and to protect them from damage or injury. It is important they everyone using the lough heeds these safety markers

Please be assured that every effort will be made to keep this closure as short as possible. It is currently planned that it will commence at lunch time on Sunday (June 16th) and end on Tuesday night (June 18th). However this may change a little for operational reasons.

Emergencies requiring the deployment of rescue vessels such as the RNLI will be facilitated. Police will be patrolling both closure points and will help those who need help or further guidance.

Local Police have met with local groups to discuss the plans and have been working with partner organisations during the planning phase

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11th April 2013 Preparing and Protecting Local Businesses

 Hoteliers from across Fermanagh took part in a tabletop exercise aimed at exploring ways to aid hoteliers handle emergency incidents.

The project was run by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to enable local businesses prepare and respond to emergencies that could occur in the run and during the G8 Summit, which is to held in Fermanagh on June 17th and 18th.

PSNI F District Superintendent Simon Walls, said that businesses should not be unnecessarily alarmed but stressed it was crucial they were prepared for all eventualities.

Superintendent Walls said: "The project is aimed at proprietors, managers and assistant managers in hotels located within the Fermanagh and Omagh areas. It highlights the importance of being prepared and having the necessary contingency plans in place to help safeguard staff, customers and company assets.

"The events consisted of talks by the PSNI, the Public Health Agency and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, as well as workshops consisting of scenarios of emergency incidents. Attendees were faced with a series of questions and dilemmas to resolve, both individually and collectively.

"It provided everyone who attended a unique opportunity to both learn and contribute valuable lessons in working together to minimise risk and protect their business and community."

An expert panel, comprising of representatives from PSNI, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the Public Health Agency, were on hand to offer advice and guidance to participants.

Superintendent Walls continued, "This is an initiative for creating preparedness in businesses, it is an essential learning tool for planning and preparation. This will help these companies safeguard their business and the staff who work there and the public.

"By advancing resilience, businesses are better placed to recover more quickly. The ability to demonstrate that an organisation can continue to meet its contractual obligations despite interruptions is vital to the local economy."


8th April 2013 PSNI Chief Constable Praises Plans for G8

 PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott was in Fermanagh to view some of the preparations taking place ahead of the G8 summit in June.

The Chief Constable was accompanied by Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay, local District Commander Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields . They were later joined by Commissioner Martin Callinan and Assistant Commissioner, Kieran Kenny of An Garda Síochána.

Praising the planning and preparation for the event the Chief Constable said he was impressed with the level of detail going into the planning process.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Fermanagh and Northern Ireland as a whole. I am confident we can deliver a safe and secure event and this will be in no small part to the professionalism and commitment of my colleagues in both the planning team and those deployed operationally. We will as always also be working closely with our colleagues in An Garda Síochána so I am particularly pleased that they were able to join us here today."


4th April 2013 FCO and PSNI meet with Lough Erne Residents

 Representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Northern Ireland Office and the PSNI have met with members of the community who live within the Lough Erne Resort, the venue for the G8 Summit.

During a meeting at the Lough Erne Golf Resort today (Thursday, April 4thl) residents were given the opportunity to discuss current plans and raise any issues about the potential impact on the community ahead of the event in June.

Residents were given an update on developments since the first community meeting in February, including security measures that were being considered and were reassured this would be managed carefully to minimise disruption to the area.

Local PSNI Superintendent, Alywin Barton, explained that some disruption to the community should be expected but that the PSNI aspired to manage this as carefully and considerately as possible. He reassured those attending the meeting that information would be shared with the community regularly.

“Given the nature of this event and the scale, it is anticipated that the residents may notice some increased activity, but the community should be assured that we will keep you regularly informed of plans as they develop and are here to listen to any concerns and manage this event sensitively. The PSNI has a proactive, community-driven approach to policing and this will underpin the policing operation in relation to G8. ” he said.


26th March 2013 PSNI launches Social Media Pages for the G8 Summit 2013

 The PSNI has launched G8 Facebook and Twitter sites.

PSNI G8 Gold Commander, Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay, has said this will provide the public, business people and visitors alike with another channel to engage with officers and find out more about what's happening in the months leading up to the G8 Summit in Fermanagh in June.

Social media presents another way of communicating with people who want to engage with officers and contribute to the policing debate but in terms of G8 it will mean local people and visitors to Northern Ireland will be able to access information about how the police plans are progressing for the event in June.  

Activity on the PSNI G8 Facebook and Twitter pages began two weeks ago on March 11th and have already attracted nearly two thousand followers making them the fastest growing PSNI pages. The public are being encouraged to follow these pages for the latest updates on the policing plans for G8. These pages will also be used to advise the public on traffic and travel updates during the event.

Assistant Chief Constable Finlay discusses: "The whole medium of social networking presents us with a new way to 'talk' with residents and communities. We currently have over 160,000 followers on Facebook, which is an indication of the desire that exists amongst people for timely, relevant information, which ultimately can help them to stay safe and informed."

The PSNI are responsible for the policing and security of the 39th annual G8 Summit which will take place over the 17th and 18th June 2013 at the Lough Erne Resort, Fermanagh.  The event will be hosted by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron MP, and organised by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.