Police trained in Yorkshire to deal with attack threat at G8 summit

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Police officers from forces across the country have been trained to deal with ballistic threats and bombs ahead of the G8 summit and protests surrounding the event.

Full details of the drills that have been carried out since Christmas have been revealed, including teaching officers how to operate when water cannon and baton rounds are used.

The training operation has taken place in Catterick, North Yorkshire, and in Hampshire.

Around 3,600 police from forces across Britain are being sent over to Northern Ireland to help with the massive security operation surrounding the summit, taking place later this month in Fermanagh.

Of these, 2,900 have been given specialist training so that they are prepared for tactics and equipment used in Northern Ireland but not on the mainland.

More than 700 officers have been trained to drive armoured vehicles, and public order teams will wear heavier ballistic body armour and use larger riot shields.

In addition, security is being stepped up at Belfast International Airport, in Co Antrim, which will be used by G8 leaders, including US president Barack Obama, Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Chief Supt Kevin Dunwoody, who is head of training for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: “Every one of the officers who have come here are already trained and experienced in public order, but we’re giving them some of the tactical options that we have in Northern Ireland that wouldn’t be available to them here.”

Various protests are planned around the time of the summit, with the biggest on June 17, attracting possibly 20,000 demonstrators.