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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Conference security patrols begin
The Brighton Centre
The Brighton Centre is hosting the Labour Party conference
A massive security operation has begun in Brighton to safeguard the Labour Party conference.

Barriers have been placed around the city and armed officers are now patrolling the streets.

Details of the 2.375m policing operation, paid for by central Government, were unveiled on Wednesday.

Police have warned protesters to stay away, but fox hunting supporters say they have planned a demonstration next Tuesday outside the Brighton Centre.

Lawful dissent

An "island site" is being created around conference venues including the Brighton Centre, the DeVere Grand Hotel, the Russell Road NCP and the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel and Conference Centre.

About 16,000 people will be vetted and validated by the police during the conference, which runs from Sunday until Thursday.

Sussex Police is working with the Army, Group 4 security and five other police forces, including Kent Police, on Operation Otter.

"By the very nature of a political conference, a number of pre-arranged and spontaneous marches and demonstrations can be anticipated," a police spokesman said.

"These events will be policed whilst allowing the democratic right of the protesters to lobby the conference delegates and peacefully and lawfully voice their dissent."

Over 1,000 officers and police staff are involved in the whole operation, with about 600 on duty during the actual conference.

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18 Sep 04  |  Southern Counties
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17 Sep 04  |  Southern Counties
Labour conference security moves
24 Aug 04  |  Politics

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