- Thousands of police officers are descending on a tiny English seaside town for President Biden’s meeting with world leaders at the G7 summit this week.
- The global summit is taking place in Carbis Bay in the coastal county of Cornwall from Friday.
- More than 5,000 police from all over England will be on hand for the event.
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The world’s most powerful leaders are descending on a tiny English seaside town for this week’s G7 summit.
Carbis Bay, in Cornwall, has a population of just 3,500 and lies in a picturesque part of Cornwall on England’s southern coast.
It might seem like an unlikely place for a high-profile gathering of world leaders but it is here that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has picked to host the G7 summit this week.
It will be the first major in-person meeting of leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March and President Biden’s first big moment on the world stage.
The world leaders, who will be joined by leaders from Australia, India, South Korea, and the EU as guests, will gather and stay at the luxury Carbis Bay resort.
It also means that Cornwall’s police force has a major security operation on their hands, and officers have prepared for the event with sniffer dogs, drones, police boats, and thousands of extra officers drawn from forces all across England.
“We plan for the worst case and we plan for the best case, and we plan around a number of different themes,” Hall said. “So, what resources and people do we need? What operational bases and sights might we need? What accommodation might we need for the officers we’ve got coming down? Vehicles, meals, what threats there are — all sorts of different themes we will plan and prepare for.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have prepared for large-scale events before, including the passage of the Olympic Torch through both counties before the London Olympics in 2012. The difference for the G7 Summit is that it’s the biggest yet.
The size of the operation means that Devon and Police will be using “mutual aid,” meaning officers from other police forces in England will be seconded to bolster Cornwall’s police numbers for the weekend to provide them with sufficient numbers.
Up to 5,000 officers and police staff will be deployed from across England, with Devon and Cornwall Police having to plan everything from their meals to their accommodation to where they will be deployed.
Specialist units of police officers who are trained in public order and riot control will be deployed to Cornwall to deal with potential protests, while 150 police dogs will also be deployed during the event.
Police will also use Cornwall and Devon Police’s large fleet of drones, which are used by forces around the world for a wide range of purposes, including surveillance and monitoring crowds.
The drones face potential problems, with Acting Sergeant Chris Lindzey suggesting that the technology could be brought down by Cornwall’s large seagull population.
“We do our utmost to avoid any nesting birds. Birds do sometimes swoop on our drones. If you are getting too much interest from wildlife, from a seagull, you give them respect and move out of the way,” he told the Guardian.
There will also be police boats patrolling Carbis Bay itself to keep the high-profile delegates safe.
“In the Carbis Bay area, we will have marine policing,” said Hall. “As part of the event, we won’t just be policing the land, we’ll be policing the land, air, and sea.”
“So people will see a policing presence around those areas but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Our role in this is to keep our community safe and to keep the event and those delegates safe, and that’s why you’ll see those extra resources.”
All of this comes at a cost, with The Guardian reporting that the security operation will cost £70 million, the equivalent of just under $100 million dollars.
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