Back in September 2014, Wales became the proud host of the NATO Summit, when leaders from around the world came to the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport. This was the first NATO summit since Chicago in 2012, and the first to be held in the United Kingdom since Margaret Thatcher welcomed NATO leaders to London in 1990.
The security operation represented a complex and extensive challenge to the Police Service of Great Britain, the likes of which had never been seen before in the UK. Over 150 world leaders, deputies and foreign ministers were in attendance, including our then Prime Minister, David Cameron and the President of the United States of America, Barrack Obama. Never before had Wales seen a policing operation on this scale. Our county was in the world’s spotlight for the duration of the Summit and we seized our opportunity to shine.
The sheer size and scale of the operation demanded a huge mutual aid response, making Gwent, for one week only, one of the largest forces in the UK, second only to the Metropolitan Police. The operation involved the deployment of over 9000 officers from 43 Police Forces, in additional to the British Transport Police, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Police Scotland, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Ministry of Defence Police and the Channels Islands.
There was also the added dynamic of over 1500 of the world’s media arriving in South Wales. This meant that live coverage of the operation was broadcast across the world, 24 hours a day.
Whilst contributing to a smooth and successful Summit, officers delivered a policing style that resonated with communities. Residents warmly welcomed officers and their blue hats into their neighbourhood, showing them Welsh hospitality at its finest!
Da iawn Wales.