Belfast Telegraph

Obama's gift for Sir Matt over G8

US President Barack Obama gave Northern Ireland's former chief police officer a gift in recognition of the G8 policing operation.

Sir Matt Baggott received a silver paperweight in June 2013 after the leaders of the world's most powerful economies held a summit at the Lough Erne resort in Enniskillen.

Around 10,000 police officers were on duty during the two-day event hosted by David Cameron but there was no trouble and the Prime Minister hailed it as one of the most peaceful in recent memory.

Details of the gift from the world's most powerful man to the retired PSNI chief constable were revealed in the service's records.

"Gift in acknowledgement of G8 Summit policing operation," it said.

It said the benefit to the policing organisation was fostering relationships with the US government.

Sir Matt has been knighted for leading the force as it fought terrorism, and policing and justice powers were devolved to Northern Ireland. He retired from the job last year after five years at the helm.

The devout Christian was an advocate of community policing.

PSNI records show that he appeared as a guest speaker at a series of church events and received cheques which were deposited in a charity account.

They included the Presbyterian and Elim Churches and the Church of Ireland. The totals varied but ranged between £30 and £350.

The PSNI said it benefited through fostering relationships with the local community.

Current Chief Constable George Hamilton was appointed during the summer to take over from Sir Matt.

He declared dinners with the Police Federation and Institute of Directors.

Last year he represented the PSNI at GAA and Irish and Ulster rugby matches and made donations to a motor neurone charity.

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