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Lough Erne ring of steel as protesters and world leaders gather for G8 summit

A ring of steel has been erected around the site of the G8 Summit as up to 2,000 protesters are expected to take part in an anti-capitalist march.

Security is tight around the Lough Erne resort and the town of Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, where a handful of protestors have set up camp.

Police chiefs in Northern Ireland revised protest figures downwards after 1,500 anti-capitalists turned up for a rally which passed off without incident in Belfast centre on Saturday.

Alistair Finlay, Assistant Chief Constable with the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) said he was optimistic the two-day summit at the luxury Lough Erne resort could be peaceful.

"We've seen protests in the last few days and that's what we wanted," he said.

"We wanted people to protest peacefully to get their views across. We're hopeful that will continue as the leaders meet."

Over a 24-hour period up to 8,000 police officers will be on the ground.

The PSNI, backed up by 3,600 officers drafted in from England and Wales, has mounted a massive air, land and sea security operation costing in excess of £50 million.

Three recently purchased drones will also be deployed to keep and eye from the sky when the world wealthiest leaders gather.

Judges in the north and Republic of Ireland have been put on standby to preside over special all-day court sittings and holding cells have been set aside at police stations in Belfast and Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Extra Public Prosecution Service (PPS) lawyers and support staff will also be on duty.

Mr Finlay said officers were ready for all the eventualities.

"These unmanned aerial units are used as resilience as part of the air frame unit," he added.

"One thing for commanders is visibility and ability to move resources around. The eye in the sky is important."

 

 

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