PSNI 'may need help with G8 summit'
Published 15/01/2013 | 17:40
Police officers from other UK forces could be drafted in to help the PSNI cover the G8 conference, it has been revealed.
Justice Minister David Ford said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) may need help from England, Scotland and Wales to bolster numbers when eight world leaders descend on Co Fermanagh in June.
No event of this magnitude has ever been staged in Northern Ireland before.
Speaking during Question Time at the Assembly, Justice Minister David Ford said it would require a massive policing operation at a time when resources could be already stretched.
He said: "2013 will be a challenging year for the PSNI with the G8, the World Police and Fire Games and City of Culture. Taking into consideration that these events will take place during the parading season, it will undoubtedly place significant pressure on police both in terms of financial and physical resources."
Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that the G8 summit will take place in the five-star Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen on June 17 and 18.
It will be the first time that the event - which brings together the leaders of the US, UK, Canada, Russia, Germany, Italy, France and Japan - has been held in the UK since leaders met at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005.
Police numbers in Northern Ireland have been reduced from 12,000 in 1998 to around 7,000 at present.
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott could use the Association of Chief Police Officers' mutual aid scheme which allows the deployment of officers from other forces.
During the London riots in August 2011 riot squads from Scotland were used to assist the Metropolitan Police quell disorder. However, some Scottish police federations have objected to sending officers to Northern Ireland because of the threat posed by dissident republicans.