PSNI will aim to recover costs from security around Good Friday Agreement events

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The PSNI will seek to recover some of the £7 million cost of security measures around commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a senior officer has said.

A major policing operation in Belfast has now ended after US president Joe Biden left Northern Ireland following a speech at Ulster University.

The PSNI said that 2,920 of its officers had been involved in the operation to assist with Mr Biden’s visit, including frontline officers, security detail and close protection.

Several roads were closed in the city centre, causing disruption.

It was the largest police operation in Northern Ireland since the G8 summit was held in Co Fermanagh in 2013.

President Biden visit to the island of Ireland
Joe Biden delivers his keynote speech at Ulster University in Belfast on Wednesday (Liam McBurney/PA)

“Extensive planning and preparation has been implemented to ensure the safety and security of the US president, his officials and staff, as well as Prime Minster Sunak and other dignitaries.

“This has been an extremely busy time for policing across Northern Ireland, with Easter parades and a high footfall of visitors attending the various beauty spots over the Easter holidays.

“We have benefited over the last few days from 84 mutual aid officers who travelled to Belfast and surrounding areas and provided essential additional specialist capabilities and support.

“Having such dedicated and professional colleagues ensured all operations were carried out expertly and I would like to thank all of our police officers, police staff and Mutual Aid officers for their contribution.

“Various road closures and cordons were put in place over the last few days so I would also like to thank the public for their understanding and cooperation.”

Good Friday Agreement 25th Anniversary
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) ACC Chris Todd thanked the public for their understanding during the security operation (Liam McBurney/PA)

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland will seek to recover what costs we can, under relevant established arrangements, once the operation has concluded and full details are known.”

Mr Todd said road closures in Belfast are now being lifted and cordons and security barriers are being removed.

Next week former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit Belfast to attend an international conference to mark the anniversary of the peace deal.

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