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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
'We're ready for G8' police say
Peter Wilson in the SPICC
Chief Constable Peter Wilson: "We want to know about troublemakers"
The man at the helm of policing for the G8 summit has said plans are now in place to deal with possible trouble.

Fife Constabulary's Chief Constable Peter Wilson made the pledge on the day the police co-ordination centre for the summit was opened.

Some 10,000 officers will be on duty as world leaders meet at Gleneagles from 6 to 8 July.

A series of anti-poverty protests are planned in the run-up to and during the three-day meeting.

The Scottish Police Information and Co-ordination Centre (SPICC) is located at Fife Constabulary headquarters.

The control room will run 24 hours a day from Friday until the end of the summit, where 150 staff will control the movements of the G8 police force.

There will be some disorder from time to time and we will be there to either prevent it or to deal with it and we will deal with it robustly
Peter Wilson
Fife Chief Constable

Mr Wilson said he hoped to assure the public that the police would be able to "deploy and allocate resources as the need develops over the next week".

"We have enormous resources in terms of people, 10,000 officers, and support from helicopters, specialist search teams and the normal resources that the police has available," he added.

But Mr Wilson said the policing operation would not have at its disposal either water canons or CS gas.

He also said that there was no dedicated holding centre for protesters in the event of trouble occuring.

He added: "We do not anticipate there will be a need for mass arrests.

"I don't believe anarchy will break out."

The summit is being targeted by various protest groups. About 200,000 people are expected to attend a Make Poverty History rally in Edinburgh on 2 July.

Normal policing

Africa campaigner and musician Bob Geldof has called on a million people to travel to the city for an anti-poverty festival on 6 July, sparking fears Edinburgh would be unable to cope with the number of demonstrators.

Police have blocked plans for a Stop the War rally to march past the Gleneagles hotel on the opening day of the summit.

G8 Alternatives also planned to stage a rally in Auchterarder, but were told by Perth and Kinross Council that they would have to take out insurance cover for up to 5m.

Mr Wilson believed that most demonstrations over the week would be peaceful.

He said: "There will be some disorder from time to time and we will be there to either prevent it or to deal with it and we will deal with it robustly.

"I would appeal to the public that if they have information about people wanting to cause trouble then we want to know about it."

Jack McConnell with police officer at Gleneagles
Jack McConnell, during his tour of Gleneagles

He added that the police had been working for a long time to ensure that the intelligence was up to date and "up to the task".

Mr Wilson said that local policing would remain as "normal as ever" across Scotland.

First Minister Jack McConnell has insisted that the positive publicity for Scotland from the G8 summit will far outweigh the security costs.

On a tour of Gleneagles on Tuesday, he said that in advertising terms, the worldwide impact of the event would be worth 10 times the cost of staging the summit.

Mr McConnell said: "The G8 is a tremendous opportunity for Scotland.

"I am absolutely certain that with the potential benefits to Scotland of way over 500m that the costs incurred will be costs that are entirely justified."

However, he again declined to put a figure on the costs, saying they would depend greatly on how next week's protests turned out.


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