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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 18:10 GMT
G8 officer seeks to allay concern
John Vine
John Vine dismissed reports of a security clampdown at the summit
The chief G8 summit security officer has dismissed reports that the event will lead to a clampdown on local freedom in the Gleneagles area.

Chief Constable John Vine, of Tayside Police, said those who live and work near the Perthshire resort will be able to carry on with their normal lives.

Mr Vine told a parliamentary committee there were no plans to close the A9 or force people to carry ID cards.

However, he said a card scheme may be used in July, with local agreement.

The police chief was speaking to Holyrood's cross-party European and External Relations Committee on Tuesday and explained how the Tayside Police strategy, known as Operation Sorbus, had a five-point focus.

Tayside Police will make every effort to maintain normal life for the community
John Vine
Tayside Chief Constable

He said the force would aim to ensure the security of the world leaders at the summit, minimise disruption to the local community, facilitate local protest and focus on day-to-day policing in Tayside and the rest of Scotland.

"One of the things we have been very keen to do is ensure that we take the community as far as possible with us and to keep the community informed," Mr Vine told MSPs.

"We have made a tremendous effort to do this. Tayside Police will make every effort to maintain normal life for the community."

He said policing would be "intelligence led" and that those living and working near the summit would be given "as much freedom as possible".

Legal protests

Last Thursday, Mr Vine expressed his "disappointment" at claims from Scottish National Party MSP Roseanna Cunningham that the security operation effectively would give a "come on if you think you're hard enough" message to protesters.

Up to 200,000 people are expected to descend on Scotland to protest at the summit amid pleas for peace from MSPs, police officials and protest groups.

The Scottish Executive last week promised campaigners the right to protest around the summit as long as they obeyed the law.

To make sure that is the case, First Minister Jack McConnell previously announced that the government will be able to call upon up to 10,000 police officers should they be required.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is hosting the summit, has promised to make the plight of Africa and climate change the twin focus of the summit from 6 to 8 July.


SEE ALSO:
Officer defends G8 security plans
04 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Ministers promise G8 demo rights
03 Mar 05 |  Scotland
G8 call for relaxed police policy
23 Feb 05 |  Scotland
G8 'could call' on 10,000 police
21 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Plan to cash in on G8 protesters
14 Feb 05 |  Scotland


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