Review of G7 protest sites in Cornwall: Truro and Falmouth changes

Police have carried out a review of protest sites in Truro and Falmouth and one of the locations has now been changed as a result, with another still being looked at.

Devon and Cornwall Police said that following concerns raised about the identified protest site in Truro for the G7 Summit, the partner agencies had reviewed the information and found an alternative site at Boscawen Park, with Lemon Quay no longer being used.

It went on to add that some concerns around the Church Street Car Park site in Falmouth had also been reviewed, and the space has been reduced to the lower car park. The partners were also exploring the possibility of an additional site elsewhere, details of which would be released early next week.

Superintendent Jo Hall, of Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “We are committed to working with partners, local communities and protest groups to ensure that people can exercise their right to peaceful protest in relation to the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall next month.

“As part of the planning process, police and partner agencies identified a number of possible locations where protest could take place in a safe manner. In considering these locations, the impact on communities and businesses was a significant factor.

“The suitability of each location was considered by several agencies and we recognise the concerns that have been raised, specifically in relation to the farmers’ market in Truro.

“We have reviewed these locations with partners over the past week, as well as with the local community and identified protest groups, to recommend suitable sites which keep disruption to a minimum.

“We continue to work with many protest groups around facilitating peaceful and lawful protest.”

The news has been welcomed by Truro City Council, which was among those raising concerns.

A city council spokesperson said: “Truro City Council is pleased that our concerns have been listened to and that Lemon Quay will not be the location for people to make peaceful protests and demonstrations.

“This will allow the farmers’ market to continue as planned and the city centre to operate normally. As one of the G7 topics is to create a greener future, it is far more appropriate for this to be undertaken peacefully at Boscawen Park.

“As the G7 is discussing caring for the planet, tackling climate change and creating a greener future we will ask all those demonstrating to be respectful of the park.”

Sophie Hosking, Cornwall Council’s strategic director for neighbourhoods, said it was “important to strike the right balance”.

She said “We have worked closely with police colleagues and listened to community concerns when identifying a new site. It’s important that we strike the right balance between ensuring that protesters are able to gather safely and have their voices heard, and minimising disruption to residents.

“Cornwall Council is continuing to urge anyone organising a protest to contact us at G7protest@cornwall.gov.uk so we can provide advice and guidance on how to do so safely and respectfully, and with the minimum impact on those living and working in the area.”

Falmouth Packet | News