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By LUCY CHRISTIE A SENIOR police representative has questioned the choice of Northern Ireland as this year's G8 summit host because of the daily pressures officers here already face.

Scottish Police Federation chairman Brian Docherty said he finds it "unbelievable" that such a decision was made by the Government.

Mr Docherty cited the recent Union flag protests in Belfast and the requirement for officers drafted in from elsewhere in the UK to be trained in PSNI practices.

He added: "I find it strange Northern Ireland was chosen as a venue, bearing in mind the amount of pressure and the working conditions the PSNI is under just now. Officers are under threat every day.

"It is a whole different form of policing from that which we know in mainland UK. To enter G8 into that particular mix, I find it unbelievable.

"I think under the circumstances it would have been a bit better planning to hold it elsewhere in the UK."

It has been suggested up to 3,000 officers from England, Wales and Scotland will be needed as world leaders fly in for the meeting in June. The summit will see US President Barack Obama, Russian president Vladimir Putin, German chancellor Angela Merkel and others gather for two days at Lough Erne golf resort in Co Fermanagh.

Earlier this month Chief Constable Ian Learmonth - from the Association of Chief Police Officers which covers Northern Ireland, England and Wales - tried to reassure officers who could potentially be drafted in.

He said: "Every effort is being taken to maximise their security and safety."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 27, 2013
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