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G7 operation begins with arrests and fake news claim

The UK’s fourth-largest force is in full operation as the G7 summit begins. Eight people have already been arrested for protest-related offences and a bomb hoax.

Operation Trelawnwy has begun with a series of arrests linked to attempts to disrupt the G7 summit.

Devon and Cornwall Police revealed operations had already resulted in people being taken into custody.

Seven people were arrested after two vehicles were stopped just a few miles from the main G7 site in Carbis Bay.

Two vehicles were stopped and searches uncovered items including paint, smoke grenades and loud hailers.

A 30-year-old man from London, a 20-year-old woman from Wales and a 20-year-old man from Bournemouth were arrested on suspicion of an article with an intent to cause criminal damage.

Two men from London aged 25 and 27 plus a 45-year-old woman also from London and a 26-year-old woman from Epsom were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.

The force has spent months engaging with protest organisers and created sites for them.

But the commanders also ran a media campaign ahead of the event warning officers would be pro-active in dealing with attempts to disrupt the event or local residents’ travel.

A force statement said: “We continue to support the facilitation of safe and legal protest but criminal activity and public disorder will not be tolerated.”

In a separate operation, a 20-year-old man from Falmouth has been arrested on suspicion of a bomb hoax and has been taken into police custody.

The man was arrested yesterday afternoon close to the area being used to facilitate G7 summit media.

Officers were called in following reports of a suspicious package having been located in the grounds outside a hotel in Falmouth.

To maintain public safety, the area was evacuated as a precautionary measure and a 100-meter cordon was put in place and 100 people evacuated.

Following assessment from the Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), the device was declared not viable and therefore safe.

A force statement said: “We currently believe that this was a suspected hoax incident and a criminal investigation has been launched.”

Fake news has also been countered; a social media statement rebutted claims of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the ferry billeting hundreds of officers.

“We’re aware of claims there had been a COVID-19 outbreak on the ferry being used to accommodate officers.”

Just one has tested positive and 12 are self-isolating.

The force also revealed the depth of activity being supported through mutual aid. Radio operators from Gloucestershire Police are working alongside local colleagues in the bespoke incident command centre set up for the event.

Police Scotland has sent 400 officers, in convoy as part of the operation.

Co-ordinating the teams has been a critical issue and the Police Federation revealed months of work have gone into the planning.

Clive Knight, the Police Federation’s lead for mutual aid, told Police Oracle: “We all work for the same aim. The key is communicating the outcome you want early and clearly – and the earlier you do it, the better the outcome.”

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