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Proper job for Devon and Cornwall as G7 ends with big wins

The G7 policing operation has been praised by chiefs, locals and the Fed – but the climate summit will be even bigger, frontline officers have warned.

The G7 summit in Cornwall passed off with few arrests, minor disruption – and praise from many of the people impacted by it.

But as the debriefs from the event are wound up, frontline officers have been warned that the UN COP26 climate summit in the autumn will be even bigger and more intensive.

Devon and Cornwall Police have been praised for leading Operation Trelawny which ensured the US President and other world leaders were able to meet in Carbis bay without incident.

And crucially, there were only two incidents where protestors blocked roads.

The force revealed the public order unit created for the event attended two protests where protestors had used the tactics they had been preparing for. Eight people were arrested in West Cornwall after locking themselves together and gluing themselves to the road.

The force said: “None of these actions affected the event or the movement of the delegates.”

 In a separate incident, three protestors were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance after they locked themselves to a minibus on a roundabout.

“Public order officers were deployed, and the protesters were given several opportunities to move prior to further action being taken,” said the force.

A further four people were arrested on suspicion of obstructing a public highway and the vehicle and locking equipment were seized by police.

Protestors had been warned ahead of the event that the force would act –and their ability to do so was limited by pre-emptive work including arrests of activists travelling towards Carbis Bay.

Officers had been expecting more sophisticated attempts to cause disruption and detailed how the main incident happened.

“Five people had glued themselves to the road and four people had locked themselves to a flowerpot. Lock on equipment has been seized,” it said.

“Public order officers engaged with the group who, following conversation, self-released and left the area. The protest passed peacefully, and the group were well engaged with officers. One man was arrested on suspicion of blocking a public highway.”

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said: “I am reassured to hear that the several protests that have taken place over the past few days have passed peacefully, without disorder and without significant disruption to local communities.

“The vast majority of groups have engaged positively with our officers and Police Liaison Teams on the ground and I am hopeful that this continues in the coming days.”

The force had made one of its priorities to engage with the local community while the event was going on to show the extent of their skills and equipment.

Devon and Cornwall said: “Our marine force support group have been down in Falmouth this weekend supporting G7 policing on the water. They’ve received some great feedback from the local community - showcasing our great officers alongside other forces from across the UK.”

The fourth-largest force in the UK was created through mutual aid. One of the Chiefs that signed off their deployment revealed it had been a success.

Merseyside CC Serena Kennedy shared on social media: “Spoke to all the Inspectors and Sergeants deployed to the G7 this weekend.

“Few issues with logistics but in the main the feedback was positive; enjoying the deployment and doing Merseyside Police proud. Thanks to all the Merseyside Police staff who are away from family and friends,” she said.

The team spirit went beyond the host force with Police Scotland’s deployment – which arrived in two convoys – making their presence felt.

A pair of Specials from Essex, who were under the supervision of a Sergeant from Police Scotland, went home with gifts of Irn Bru and Tunnock cakes.

And PC James Lewis of the Metropolitan Police signed off at 5am on social media ready for the journey back to the capital.

“I enjoyed working with other forces from around the UK,” he said.

The force has even won over the local media.

Journalist Lee Trewhela said: “One of my abiding memories of the G7 will be just how amazing the police have been. Friendly, approachable, they’ve almost become part of the community in Carbis Bay. The locals have loved them and they’ve loved the locals.”

But the officers involved were told they could expect another call up in the autumn for the UN Climate Change conference COP26 in Glasgow.

With senior politicians, financiers and campaigners from multiple countries expected, a massive operation is already being planned.

The Police Federation’s mutual aid lead, Clive Knight told Police Oracle: “That’s the next big mutual aid event. There will be more officers going up there than were at G7.”

Planning is already under way, including how officers will work under the different legal framework.

He revealed: “There’s a lot more complexity; our colleagues work under a completely different set of rules and regulations. Here’s a prime example of how we work for members.

"The Fed recognised this early and worked with the Scottish Police Federation so that if any of our members get into difficulty, we can get them legal advice. It shows the level of detail involved.”

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