This weekend will see the return of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central, with protests planed for the whole weekend.
From Sunday 1 October to Wednesday 4 October, tens of thousands of visitors are expected in the city and GMP has a dedicated policing operation to make sure there’s minimal disruption for the public and everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.
Operation Protector will see GMP and partner agencies working together so the centre is ‘business as usual’ for those living, working or coming into the city to enjoy the shops, restaurants, bars and attractions.
Chief Superintendent John O’Hare, who is leading the policing operation for the Conservative Party Conference, said,
“Manchester is a great city, with so much to offer and we host lots of large-scale events every year that continue to put our city on the map.
“The return of the party conference will bring with it tens of thousands of people who will benefit our city’s economy by supporting local businesses and we welcome this opportunity to once again showcase what Manchester has to offer.
“GMP has a huge amount of experience in planning and delivering security operations required to successfully manage conferences such as this.
“We do expect a number of protesters to come in to the city centre throughout the conference period with two particularly large protests taking place on Sunday 1st October.
“These protests are expected to involve thousands of people and we have been working closely with organisers, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester to ensure that they can take place safely and cause the minimum of disruption.
“Our policing style throughout the conference period will strive to achieve the right balance between facilitating protest and enabling people to go about their daily business without fear or intimidation. Everyone has the right to peacefully protest but anyone behaving in a manner that goes beyond the spirit of this will be dealt with appropriately.
“Our officers have a vast amount of experience policing public demonstrations and despite the expected number of visitors it will be very much ‘business as usual’ for all those coming into the city.”