SECURITY has been tightened at this year’s Staffordshire County Show but funseekers have flocked there in their thousands to soak up an action-packed two days in the sun. The two-day rural celebration at Staffordshire County Showground, near Stafford, opened its gates today to visitors from across the country and many showed up earlier than in previous years to make the most of the good weather and the many shows within the main event. Show organisers from Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society have worked with Staffordshire Police to increase security measures in the wake of last week’s bombing in Manchester and the 100 acre showground is covered by more than 40 CCTV cameras. The national security threat was raised to critical following the attack at Manchester Arena, but lowered to severe earlier this week, and police presence was stepped up at Staffordshire tourist attractions including Trentham Gardens. Staffordshire County Showground chief executive Richard Williams said: “We have put on extra security and bag checks on arrival at the showground . We have metal detectors that are being used as well, extra foot patrols by uniformed police and sniffer dogs. “On top of that we have our own security patrols .
The police have been very supportive and I think the show is as safe as it can be.” The events of last week failed to deter families from turning up in force for the show’s first day however . The show, in its 217th year, coincides with the half term school holiday and is packed with activities for visitors of all ages, from woodland crafts and animal encounters to a traditional Punch and Judy show and thrilling stunts in the main ring from the Bolddog Lings motorcycle display team. The half term break also enabled St Joseph’s College pupil Dan Weaver, 15, from Stone, to exhibit Holstein calves at the show with friend Joel Dart, 16, also from Stone. The Weaver family, of Aston Pool Farm, have taken part in a first for the show video cattle judging . The move was introduced in some cattle classes this year to enable farmers who may be otherwise unable to attend for reasons such as staffing or TB movement restrictions to showcase their animals. In total 35 animals were videoed on their farms ahead of today’s judging and the footage was broadcast in one of the livestock rings. Dan said: “I watched a bit of the video footage and it was good to see quite a few people who have never shown here before, hopefully it will encourage them to come to the show.” Another return visitor to the County Show was John Hartley, of Leek-based business Farm to Shop, who was selling a variety of cheeses in the food hall and cookery theatre.
He said: “This is our third year here .
You get a good mix of people and they are down to earth.”
Fermanagh security alert declared ‘elaborate hoax’
A security alert in Irvinestown, in Co Fermanagh was the result of an elaborate hoax, police have said. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/fermanagh-security-alert-declared-elaborate-hoax-35766055.html
A security alert in Irvinestown, in Co Fermanagh was the result of an elaborate hoax, police have said. Police cordoned off part of Townhill Park for most of Monday.
The alert ended just after 4pm.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Police would like to thank those affected for their co-operation during this .
They would ask anyone with information to contact 101 or if they wish to remain anonymous Crimestopppers on 0800 555 111.”
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The owners of a gold mine in Northern Ireland have halted its development after police refused to provide their requested levels of anti-terrorism security cover.
Galantas Gold Corporation said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was not prepared to offer sufficient resources to supervise the transportation and denotation of blasting materials at its mine in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Galantas sourced gold from an open cast mine in the area up until 2013 . It has secured planning permission to excavate underground seams for the next 15 years with projections of extracting 30 million worth of gold a year.
The mining security requirement is in place in Northern Ireland to guard against the potential threat posed by dissident republican terror groups. The company said the PSNI had offered two hours of cover, two days a week – in exchange for a fee. Galantas said that was insufficient to run the mine and offered to pay the police for two hours of cover, five days a week – albeit reserving the right to challenge the policy of recovering costs in the courts.
It said the PSNI rejected that offer, citing resource constraints and competing priorities. The company is now pursuing a potential legal action against the PSNI, claiming other mining companies have not been subject to the same limitations on police resources. Galantas currently employs 15 people at the Omagh site, five of whom have now been placed on notice of redundancy .
It had envisaged employing around 130 once the planned underground mining operation was running.
Roland Phelps, president and CEO of Galantas, said: “The PSNI’s decision is clearly a blow to any proposed mine development in Northern Ireland and negatively affects the livelihoods of our employees and their families.
“The company pays full UK taxes, royalties and mineral license fees.
“A cost benefit analysis of PSNI providing the required anti-terrorism cover required by PSNI is hugely to the state’s benefit – not that this is any reason to allow a potential terrorist threat to interfere with any citizen’s lawful rights or business.”
PSNI Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said: “There are many competing demands for the resources that PSNI commanders have at their disposal.
“They must prioritise those demands in a way that maximises the safety of the public and their officers and works to counter threats, to mitigate risk and to alleviate harm.
“Working with others to support their efforts for the development of enterprise and the economy is important to PSNI.
“It is, however, reasonable to expect a commercial venture to contribute all or part of the policing costs where it is legitimate and proportionate to do so.”