PCC Congratulates Police on NATO Success
Gwent Police led on the security for the event which was hosted at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport between September 4th and 5th 2014. In one of the biggest policing operations ever undertaken in the UK, over 9,500 Police Officers and staff were drafted in from 43 Forces for the operation codenamed Ismay. Officers from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands joined the four Welsh Police Forces for the operation and made a corner of South East Wales their home during the summit.
The unprecedented security operation, which posed a bigger challenge than the London 2012 Olympics, was unchartered territory in its scale and this was the first time Britain had hosted the leaders of the western defence alliance in a generation. A strategic group chaired by Gwent Police Chief Constable, Jeff Farrar, was established to deliver the complex plans which saw the largest amount of police resources ever brought into Wales. The group included representatives from South Wales and Avon and Somerset Police Forces. Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas, Gwent Police's lead for the NATO Summit, headed up the Silver Command planning team whilst Assistant Chief Constable Chris Armitt from Merseyside Police was seconded to Gwent Police for nine months as the event's Gold Commander.
Working across multiple venues in South East Wales, the Police also had to collaborate effectively with various intelligence agencies and military personnel to ensure the safety of the public, the 60 world leaders and their thousands of support staff.
According to Gwent PCC Ian Johnston, this was a massive test for the Police and one which they passed with flying colours whilst ensuring local residents continued to receive an effective policing service.
"Every single police officer, staff member and volunteer from all over the UK who worked during the summit and in the build up to it can be proud of themselves. Their hard work and effort ensured this historic and momentous occasion for Gwent and Wales ran so smoothly," said Mr Johnston.
"This is a feather in the cap for Gwent Police and we need to celebrate and applaud how good they were and how professionally they dealt with the pressures during the event and in the build up to it. People would have been quick to judge the Force if they had got it wrong so it is vital to praise them for the way they led on the delivery of this major event. This is no mean feat given the complexity of the logistical challenges and the enormity of work they faced and we need to celebrate their efforts."
The Police and Crime Commissioner also praised the public for their support and patience during the summit.
"Despite some of the disruption caused by the event, the Police Officers had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the public in the way they engaged with Newport and Cardiff communities and I would like to praise the public for their support and patience throughout," said Mr Johnston.
"The strong police presence was necessary to prevent disruption and to protect all the officials attending and it was great to see Police Forces from all over the UK collaborating so effectively. There were numerous examples of the police and the public interacting in a friendly and co-operative way. I take my hat off to everyone involved."
Gwent Police Chief Constable Jeff Farrar added: "When the location of the 2014 NATO Summit was announced we knew that Gwent Police and the UK Police Service as a whole would be facing a unique and unprecedented challenge. Assistant Chief Constable Chris Armitt, who we selected to lead the Policing operation as Gold Commander has done an excellent job. Along with his planning team and the officers and staff from across the UK, they have done themselves and the police family proud in keeping the summit delegates and the residents of Gwent and South Wales safe.
This was always going to be a team effort and in partnership with South Wales Police and other organisations and agencies the team has delivered a safe and secure Summit.
It was Inevitable that a global event like this would cause some local disruption, and one of the key objectives of the policing operation, and a direction from the Police and Crime Commissioner, was to minimise disruption for local residents. I appreciate that some people have been inconvenienced but overall I hope we managed to balance a safe and secure operation with the minimum possible disruption.
From a global perspective, I'm proud that whilst the eyes of the world have been on us we have done our bit to deliver a successful event which will hopefully benefit Newport, Gwent, and Wales as a whole."