Ahead of the Nato conference in Newport, Wales, Police have erected 10 miles of high security fencing around Cardiff city centre, and around the Celtic Manor resort in Newport, which is being called the “ring of steel”.
Up to 150 heads of state and government, including Barack Obama, David Cameron and Angela Merkel, will be meeting in Wales on the 4th and 5th of September, along with thousands of support staff and journalists.
Almost 10,000 police officers are attending the event, which equates to almost 8% of the police strength of England and Wales, as part of a security operation costing an estimated £50 million. The actual cost is unknown, but is expected to be released by the UK soon after the event.
This comes after UK former foreign office minister, Kim Howells, publically fanned fears that home grown Islamic State terrorists could be planning to attack the summit.
The summit also involves the stationing of seven Nato warships, such as the HMS Duncan (pictured), at Cardiff Bay.
An estimated 1,000 people marched peacefully through Newport at the weekend to protest against Nato, and more demonstrations are expected to take place throughout the week.
Sam Carwenne Oxby, a member of the Stop the War coalition, said “Wales is a peace-loving place. It feels very wrong that such an event is taking place here.” Oxby said local people had been donating food to the began camp kitchen, and local youngsters had been turning up to talk about events in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. “One good thing has come out of it – it has started these sorts of conversations,” she said.
An anti-Nato protest camp has been setup, which they are calling the “peace camp”, at Tredegar Park.
Newport’s council rejected the idea that there would be traffic chaos during the summit, largely helped by almost all of the city’s schools and nurseries being closed to pupils.