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G7 security effort showed British policing at its best

The challenge of arranging security for a weekend that brought together heads of state, political leaders and their entourages would be immense at any time, even without the added complexity of a global pandemic.

G7 security effort showed British policing at its best

The recent security effort around the G7 Summit in Cornwall showed British policing at its best.

The challenge of arranging security for a weekend that brought together heads of state, political leaders and their entourages would be immense at any time, even without the added complexity of a global pandemic.

Critical to the success or failure of the policing operation, under the leadership of Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, was the tone and attitude of those uniformed officers who came face to face with the public. Five thousand travelled from around the UK to provide a polite, friendly and reassuring presence that was an advertisement for a British mode of policing that we should be proud of.

Behind the scenes work was done to minimise the impact of the summit on the residents affected while ensuring we all received the high standard of policing which has helped secure some of the lowest recorded crime rates in the country.

This professional effort was underpinned and strengthened by the incredible contribution made by volunteers who gave their time to do everything from assuring custody was fit for purpose to patrolling neighbourhoods as Special Constables and to distributing surplus food to those most in need in Cornwall.

Feedback from our towns and villages has been overwhelmingly positive. For the most part residents, visitors and businesses put up with disruption caused by this once-in-a-lifetime event with a smile upon their faces and appreciated seeing a side of UK policing that we can all be proud of.

At a time when police forces justifiably come under an incredible amount of scrutiny, and criticism if they are found wanting, it is only correct that we also celebrate when things go right. With the 20,000 uplift in police officer numbers presenting an opportunity to reshape policing it is worth reflecting on this style of policing and partnership which last weekend won admirers from around the globe.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly