Police will be checking the identities of people living and working in 1,000 city centre addresses, to make sure they are not terrorists.

Sussex Police plan to visit thousands of residents in the area around the Brighton Centre, in the lead up to September's Labour Party Conference.

The conference security scheme, codenamed Operation Otter, has been justified by top officers who say the steps are necessary at a time of heightened international security.

During the conference, from September 27 to October 1, police will seal off a secure 'island site' around the Brighton Centre, Hilton Metropole, Grand Hotel and Russell Road car park.

But residents and workers further afield will also have to prove who they are.

Police working with Brighton and Hove City Council have already sent letters to businesses and homes around the conference centre which will be affected by Operation Otter.

Officers will visit homes and ask residents to show an identity document like a passport of driving licence, as well as confirming their address with a bank statement or utility bill.

The names will then be checked against the police national computer to check whether they are wanted or suspected of terrorism.

Superintendent Grenville Wilson, planning coordinator for Operation Otter, said: “We will confirm their ID with open source validation.

“They have to get an ID document like a passport and a utility bill that's got their details on it.

“It is so we know who's living within the area.

“The security operation runs throughout the conference and can cause a bit of disturbance, particularly for those people living above the Metropole and to get access to their flats they have to have a security pass.

“We will be organising a local residents meeting, probably on July 22, where people can ask questions.

“Letters have gone out to the homes in the area and then we will follow that up with home visits.”

Police will also check the details of staff at firms within the vicinity of the political conference, even though they claim they have no reason to suspect Brighton will come under attack from terrorists.

Supt Wilson said: “Hosting the government during a time of international tension inevitably involves heightened security measures however we are keen to stress that there is no specific threat to the conference.”

"Sussex Police is committed to working with partners and communities to tackle these issues together.

The city council has defended the disruption to residents, because the conference will bring millions of pounds worth of trade to the city.

Council leader Mary Mears said: "The annual conference of the party in government brings about 20,000 people and £10million to the host city.

“This is money local businesses desperately need to help fight the recession. So while there is inevitably some disruption it is still worth the effort for the benefits it brings to the local economy."

The Government has provided £6.1 million to fund this year’s police operation, up from £3.7 million in 2005.

Anyone affected can ask the police questions about the security checks by emailing otter_accreditation@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

Anyone with any information about terrorism is urged to call the Anti-terrorism hotline 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.