Mass police presence branded a ‘shameful waste of public money’
by Paddy McGuffin
Home Affairs Reporter
POLICE Federation documents revealed yesterday that a staggering 10,000 cops will be drafted from across Britain for Nato’s Newport summit to shut out mass anti-war protests.
A briefing for members details one of the biggest police operations since the 2012 Olympics and the biggest in Welsh history.
Thousands of peace campaigners have pledged to descend on the summit to express their outrage at warmongering policies of nuclear alliance Nato.
But the Police Federation figures show there will be one officer for every protester at the Celtic Manor Hotel between September 4 and 5.
The document said: “To ensure the safety and secure passage of the event a mutual aid authority has been agreed to secure the deployment of nearly 10,000 officers.
“This will provide the policing resilience for the event and ensure continuity and day to day effectiveness of the host force(s).”
CND general secretary Kate Hudson told the Star that spending millions to “protect” Nato leaders from peaceful protesters was a shameful waste of money.
“This is yet another example of public money being spent on the wrong priorities,” she said.
“Together with billions spent on war and nuclear weapons we will now see vast sums being wasted on ‘protecting’ politicians from peaceful protesters.
“In reality we need to be protected from Nato and its ever-expanding militarism. Our message is clear — end wars, disarm our nuclear weapons. And spend our money on meeting people’s real needs: education, jobs and the NHS.”
The Police Federation briefing document shows the number of officers sent from forces across Britain is too high for them to be accommodated in Newport.
It said there are “several sites identified across South Wales and the West Country” although it does not name the exact locations for “security reasons.”
But the document adds: “Accommodation sites have been scoped to ensure that officers on down time have access to appropriate leisure and rest facilities.”
Officers were called from across Britain to police a G8 summit in Enniskillen last year but that 3,000-strong presence is dwarfed by this operation.
And the Police Federation has warned that could leave a very thin blue line to police communities as a result of Con-Dem cutbacks.
Federation rep Alan Ogg said: “The Nato summit represents the biggest ever mutual aid police deployment to Wales with approximately 10,000 officers required for the event.
“Austerity measures will have an impact on forces’ ability to provide officers to this event while maintaining an appropriate level of service locally and many forces have already begun putting restrictions on leave during this time.
“This is just another example of how cuts to policing can affect the level of service we provide in protecting society.”