Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to welcome world leaders to South West
- Credit: PA
One of the biggest events in Cornwall’s history is nearly upon us as the final preparations get under way for the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay.
This prestigious international event will see heads of state from all over the world converge on this beautiful corner of the country and it will be a truly historic occasion for Cornwall.
As you can imagine, the focus of this year’s event – the first to take place in-person for almost two years – will be rebuilding in the aftermath of the global pandemic.
Our policing colleagues, as well as more than 5,000 officers joining us on mutual aid from all over the UK, have been working flat-out on this prestigious event for months and the level of detail and height of security is remarkable – all while hopefully having as little effect on the lives of locals as possible.
However, it’s inevitable that there will be some disruption. If the past 12 months has taught us anything it’s that protesting is still a popular and effective means of expressing opinion – and I, for one, completely support people’s right to conduct peaceful protests.
The emphasis, though, should be on the word peaceful – there is no excuse for breaking the law. Not only does it dilute the message of the protest, it can also result in non-participants feeling intimidated and fearful in their own communities.
Devon and Cornwall has a long and proud history of supporting peaceful protest – and we shall continue to do so. However, should this veer into unrest or criminality, those responsible will be dealt with robustly.
G7 offers a huge opportunity for the region and should give many local businesses a much-welcome boost. My office will also be seizing the opportunity to heavily promote our Vision Zero South West road safety partnership.
Devon and Cornwall’s roads get much busier in the summer season, with the potential for increased incidents. Not only does this cause huge personal misery and sorrow, it also has a massive effect on the economy.
G7 gives us the opportunity to promote our road safety agenda on a global platform and we will be doing everything we can to raise the profile of Vision Zero South West and get our plans in front of eyes that have worldwide significance.
We shall also be scrutinising the performance of the police throughout the event through things like our Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) scheme, which ensures the correct treatment and welfare of detainees. With the eyes of the world on our region, it’s vital we ensure stringent standards and welfare commitments are being maintained.
In short, I see this weekend as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to welcome the most important and influential world leaders to Cornwall – and to show off the wonderful communities we have the pleasure of living in.