Nato summit ‘a huge test’ for Gwent Police

South Wales Argus: Portrait of Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas, Force lead for the 2014 NATO Summit in Newport. (2964969) Portrait of Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas, Force lead for the 2014 NATO Summit in Newport. (2964969)

GWENT Police has begun the first phase of planning ahead of the NATO summit next year which has been called “a massive test” for the force.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced in October that a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is to meet at the Celtic Manor Resort in 2014.

A strategic group, chaired by chief constable Jeff Farrar, includes representatives from South Wales and Avon and Somerset police forces. Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas, Gwent Police’s lead for the NATO summit, is heading up the planning team and said: “The group will set the tone of what we want to achieve.

“We will need a vast array of different skills that you wouldn’t be able to supply locally.”

For example, the protection side of the operation will be co-ordinated by MET police, while Gwent police will also be required to work with security services such as the US’s secret service.

Public order is one of the main priorities for planning.

The summit is expected to attract thousands of campaigners.

Mr Thomas said: “We will meet with them and seek to facilitate them.”

The security parameter is yet to be decided around the Celtic Manor site, but any road closures will be a decision made by Newport City Council.

“It will have an impact as you would expect, but at the same time, we carry on policing as normal,” said Mr Thomas.

“I’m personally very excited by it. It’s a tremendous opportunity for this force and for Wales to support something of this scale.You don’t get many of these.”

One of the biggest challenges for Mr Thomas will be the logistical organisation of the operation.

“It’s the complexity of it all. There are a lot of aspects – but we’ve got time.”

Speaking before a Police and Crime Panel last week, Mr Farrar said: “To give you some idea of the size of this thing, Number 10 has described it as 10 times as big as the G8 summit.

“The US contingent alone is expected to bring 1,500 people. We are also expecting 15,000 campaigners or protestors.

“Whilst this is a Westminster-run event, we have to present Wales in a positive light.

“The scale of this is absolutely huge. It’s a big honour, but a massive, massive test.”

Comments (6)

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8:06am Tue 17 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

The forthcoming NATO summit also puts the people of Newport and the surrounding areas at a much more increased, heightened risk of terrorist attack. No matter how much money certain firms are likely to make from this it should never be forgotten that no amount of a cash is ever worth the loss of even one single life.
The forthcoming NATO summit also puts the people of Newport and the surrounding areas at a much more increased, heightened risk of terrorist attack. No matter how much money certain firms are likely to make from this it should never be forgotten that no amount of a cash is ever worth the loss of even one single life. Katie Re-Registered

9:17am Tue 17 Dec 13

KarloMarko says...

Why are the plod so alarmed about external security?

All the real threats to humanity will be on the inside the conference.
Why are the plod so alarmed about external security? All the real threats to humanity will be on the inside the conference. KarloMarko

9:22am Tue 17 Dec 13

regaturn says...

With Farrar's counting skills being called into question only last week,I'm really pleased that number 10 have told him that the summit will be 10 times bigger than the G8 summit.
With Farrar's counting skills being called into question only last week,I'm really pleased that number 10 have told him that the summit will be 10 times bigger than the G8 summit. regaturn

9:43am Tue 17 Dec 13

KarloMarko says...

Any truth in the rumour that Paul Flynn's enrolled as a "Special"? Wouldn't want anything to spoil his big week.
Any truth in the rumour that Paul Flynn's enrolled as a "Special"? Wouldn't want anything to spoil his big week. KarloMarko

3:03pm Tue 17 Dec 13

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

“We will meet with them and seek to facilitate them.”

Lol - really? I only doubt because every other demo I've ever been on, the riot squad have stormed into peaceful protestors simply because the police don't want to hang around waiting for us to leave anymore.
“We will meet with them and seek to facilitate them.” Lol - really? I only doubt because every other demo I've ever been on, the riot squad have stormed into peaceful protestors simply because the police don't want to hang around waiting for us to leave anymore. GardenVarietyMushroom

9:27pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Jonnytrouble says...

Bet some of the costs come out of us poor Gwent Council tax payers again. Plus I just wonder on the day or days it will be held what it will be like to get from A to B ? Just need the outdated M4 around Newport to become gridlock that day through an accident !
Mind you Sir Terry, must just love it, thinking of all the extra cheap eastern Europeans to employ for that BIG event to increase the profits to line his pocket !
Bet some of the costs come out of us poor Gwent Council tax payers again. Plus I just wonder on the day or days it will be held what it will be like to get from A to B ? Just need the outdated M4 around Newport to become gridlock that day through an accident ! Mind you Sir Terry, must just love it, thinking of all the extra cheap eastern Europeans to employ for that BIG event to increase the profits to line his pocket ! Jonnytrouble

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