Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:37 pm
In a former life, I was heavily involved in the security for the 1998 G8 summit in Birmingham and the demands of our American cousins are almost unbelievable.
1. The Americans brought so many aircraft that Birmingham airport didn’t have enough space to park them - let alone any of the other nation’s aircraft.
2. At the planning meetings, the Secret Service initially “demanded” that we provide a “clear zone” 1 mile either side of the A45 Coventry Road for the entire 11 miles between the airport and the City Centre. They really expected that the UK Government and West Mids Police would evacuate about 200,000 people from a 22 sq mile area! (For approx 4 hours whilst POTUS drove from airport to the City).
They eventually agreed to us:
A) Clearing all vehicles from a 1/2 mile zone either side of the A45 for 11 miles into Birmingham.
B) creating a curfew which restricted all residents within that zone to remain in their homes for 30 minutes either side of the time that POTUS would be travelling up the A45
C) Having police operate a series of parallel “rolling road block” on all side streets for 1/2 mile either side of the A45 to ensure that residents stayed indoors and that no vehicles moved.
3. On one morning, they closed the Aston Expressway and the M6 for about 4 hours whilst they got all the motorcades out of the city and on to the M6 for a drive up to Weston Country Park. It was planned to take 20 minutes, but the Heads of State all wanted to be the last to leave their hotels and they started refusing to leave their hotels because they refused to sit in a queue waiting for some “lesser” motorcade to get into place in the column on the M6. This all took so long, that both the Police and American military helicopters started to run out of fuel. There a lot of very excited Police and Security / Secret Service as it became apparent that they might have all the G8 Heads of State sitting in cars, stationary on the M6 without air cover. Twas indeed an exciting time!