10 June 2005

Irelandclick.com

PSNI will police Live 8

The PSNI will be taking part in the policing operation surrounding the G8 anti-globalisation day, Scottish police have confirmed to the North Belfast News.

But cops on this side of the Irish Sea are remaining tight-lipped about the role they will play, prompting speculation that the riot squad could be deployed in case of violence.
A counter insurgency operation could also be carried out on activists travelling from Ireland.
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said questions had to be asked on the role the PSNI would play in the massive event.
A spokesman for the task force specially set up to plan the policing of the massive Live 8 concert confirmed to the North Belfast News this week that PSNI officers would be involved in the massive concert and rally events planned for July.
“There is some involvement from Northern Ireland, the extent (of which) we would not say,” said a spokesman.
“As far as I’m aware there will be officers coming from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
The protests are to coincide with a meeting between the leaders of the world's top industrial nations at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in Perthshire from July 6 to 8.
Organisers like Bob Geldof have urged 1million people to converge on Edinburgh.
Estimates of the policing operation in Scotland have been said to be close to £120m by one newspaper. But no overall figure has yet been given by the British government for the cost of hosting the Gleneagles event.
“Questions are raised over what role the PSNI will play, be it in riot control like we had in Ardoyne on July 12, or in counter insurgency and monitoring anti-poverty and anti-war protesters over there,” said Gerry Kelly.
“Certainly this role will not address the issues of global poverty and in fact it could make the situation worse. It doesn’t bode well for Edinburgh in having a police force there that operates on an anti-community and sectarian agenda.”
A PSNI spokeswoman refused to say what the role of the PSNI would be in Live 8.
“The PSNI has agreed in principle that if support is required we will consider meeting that requirement in the context of our own operational requirements.”

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon

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