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Devon and Cornwall plans biggest-ever operation for G7 summit

A huge mutual aid operation involving 5,500 officers has been outlined for the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall has revealed plans for the G7 meeting of world leaders in June with a promise of ‘robust’ policing.

As part of the build up to explain to locals what will be happening, the force revealed it is planning for the biggest operation in its history.

Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce, said: “We will be deploying over 5,500 officers, who will require over 100,000 meals during the week and 100 accommodation bases.”

He admitted the force doesn’t have enough armed response teams – and with just 3,529 officers and 465 Specials, the force has already made a mutual aid request.

Also on the team will be 150 police dogs.

Devon and Cornwall, which was rated ‘good’ by HMI, will lead the event as well as provide policing services to an area of 3,965 square miles with approximately 730 miles of coastline and includes the Isles of Scilly.

Ch Supt Pearce said: “The scale of this event is such that we can’t police it without help from other police forces, especially from those across the South West.”

The UK is hosting the three-day event which will take place despite the ongoing pandemic and the force has begun rolling out its communications with local residents to explain the impact on their movements.

The epicentre will be the tiny village of Carbis Bay where there is a luxury hotel complex on a former private estate.

St Ives will also host delegations at a hotel and the world’s media will be based in Falmouth.

A railway route will be closed and there will be multiple road closures around these areas and Helston which will be a hub for policing activity.

Those road closures will be needed not least to get the US president's cavalcade down some very tiny Cornish lanes. Included among the 50 vehicles usually involved is The Beast, a specially-built Cadillac which is based on a truck chassis and weighs in excess of 15,000 lbs.

To achieve all this, senior officers are working with Great Western Railways, Cornwall Council and British Transport Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, who is leading the policing operation, said the summit presents a significant challenge for the force but also a fantastic opportunity to showcase the policing excellence of Devon and Cornwall to the world.

Ch Supt Pearce said: “The closer people live to the venues the more likely there will be disruption due to security. We’re keen to keep the roads open for as long as possible and no roads will be closed for more than four days,” he said.

The force is also using the summit as an opportunity to connect with residents to create an alert and feedback network using social media, email and text messages.

And the idea is that this could be part of the events legacy to improve outcomes long after the politicians have flown home.

Warren Trestrail, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for St Ives, explained: “It is a great tool that enables us to get important messages out to hundreds or thousands of people really quickly in a very simple way.

“Devon & Cornwall Alert is particularly useful for residents who do not use social media or are not online and can receive text messages or messages via voicemail.”

He added: “Although there are currently over 35,000 registered alert users across Devon and Cornwall, there are only 108 in St Ives and 5,594 Facebook followers.  We hope to increase these numbers significantly in the coming months.”

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