G8 security bill hits £75m but only two arrests made during summit

Lough Erne Golf Resort

Lough Erne Golf Resort

The total cost of the security operation for the G8 summit in Northern Ireland came in at around £75 million, it has been revealed by Stormont.

The huge operation deployed for the two-day event in County Fermanagh last month was one of the largest seen in the UK.

A total of 8,000 police officers were on duty, including around 3,600 specially-trained personnel drafted in from England, Wales and Scotland, during the gathering of world leaders at Lough Erne.

The four-mile security barrier erected around the island where the hotel is situated cost around £4 million and every road around the venue was shut to everyone but a handful of local residents.

Millions was also spent on a temporary custody facility in Omagh and the training of officers in handling potential disorder.

However, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) recently revealed that only two arrests were made during the two-day summit and the holding centre in Omagh was not used once.

At one stage a wire fence near the resort was breached but only for a short time and the protestors did not turn violent.

Around £60 million of the total cost of the security operation was picked up by the UK Government, with Stormont’s Department of Justice covering the rest of the policing bill.

Stormont Finance Minister Sammy Wilson told the Assembly the total policing and security cost amounted to around £75 million.

He added: “The most important thing is that we successfully delivered a safe and secure event and for that I give my sincere thanks to the PSNI.”

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