G7 Cornwall: Policing is 'biggest security operation'

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image captionDevon and Cornwall Police have been given the responsibility of policing the G7 summit

Policing the G7 summit "will be the biggest security operation we have undertaken", said a senior constable.

In June, world leaders will gather in Cornwall for the G7 summit, including new US President Joe Biden.

The responsibility for policing the event in Carbis Bay, near St Ives, has been given to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Specialist officers from around the country are also being drafted to "provide capacity and resilience".

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, who is leading the police operation, said the force was "honoured" to be trusted with the responsibility.

"It will be the biggest security operation we have undertaken as a police force and we do not underestimate the sizeable logistical challenge it presents."

Glen Mayhew said he wanted to assure the public "that we can meet this complex policing challenge, and planning is well underway".

image copyrightMatt Jessop/Visit Cornwall
image captionThe event will be held from 11 to 13 June at Carbis Bay

Devon and Cornwall Police said the operation was largely focussed on potential security threats while reducing the impact on residents, businesses and visitors.

At the last G7 event in 2019 French authorities deployed more than 13,000 police backed up by soldiers and drones to keep protesters away from the summit meeting.

Specialist officers trained in dealing with public order events will be drafted in from other UK police forces for the operation, which Mr Mayhew said would help Devon and Cornwall Police to maintain its services to the local community.

He recognised there was "no doubt" the event would bring disruption to the area but said he and his colleagues would "do our very best to minimise this".

'Positive legacy'

The plans are also being made in line with current Covid-19 regulations and will be continuously reviewed against public health advice, said the force.

Cornish MP, Derek Thomas said the event could be "very much like another lockdown" and residents were concerned about the impact of it.

Mr Mayhew said the most important outcome of G7 was to "ensure that the event passes safely and leaves a positive legacy".

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