Belfast Telegraph

Police ready for peaceful Twelfth... but prepared for all outcomes

By Staff Reporter

The PSNI has said it is expecting a peaceful holiday period as it puts the finishing touches to plans for the Twelfth.

Preparations have been made to cope with any disturbances, a senior officer told the Belfast Telegraph, but serious trouble is not anticipated.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd last night said: "Our current assessment of the situation is that events over the Twelfth period will pass off peacefully.

"However, as is standard practice, the Police Service continues to review its resources and planning so it can react to keep people safe where and when the need arises. That is what we've undertaken this year.

"This preparation and planning ensures we have sufficient resources available for any eventuality, and is what people would rightly expect of us in order to keep them safe."

The PSNI's reassurance to the public comes amid reports that water cannon are being readied for deployment next week if required.

It is understood an email circulated to officers yesterday made known some of the measures that are being planned.

Informed sources yesterday told the Belfast Telegraph that police preparations also include contingency plans for the redeployment of officers from Great Britain to remove bonfire materials if this is deemed to be necessary.

Some non-frontline PSNI officers have also been told they will have to work over the Twelfth.

Police forces across the UK can call upon each other to provide mutual aid in an emergency situation. PSNI officers have also previously been deployed in Great Britain, and worked with officers there on public order issues.

In 2012, around 600 officers from Great Britain were deployed to Northern Ireland to provide support to the PSNI as a strategic reserve over the Twelfth period, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers.

In more recent years, tensions around parades have eased across the province, but concern remains about some Eleventh Night bonfires and their proximity to homes.

In Belfast alone, there are around 80 bonfires planned for that night.

Belfast Telegraph

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