Thousands of police officers have descended on Cornwall as part of a massive security operation, including, a frigate, other navy vessels and helicopters to protect the world leaders in attendance at this week’s G7 summit.
The HMS Northumberland, a Type 23 frigate, will be stationed off the Cornish coast to monitor threats from air and sea, supported by numerous patrol vessels.
There are also plans for an aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, to be used as an additional show of strength, according to military sources.
This comes after the HMS Tyne, a navy patrol ship, was seen in the waters off St Ives on Tuesday, a large presence beside the town’s small harbour.
Speaking on Tuesday, Commodore Rob Pedre RN, the head of the military operation, said: “Over the next week, the Armed Forces will be providing hundreds of personnel, as well as naval vessels and aircraft, to support the police in providing a safe and secure G7 summit.
“We are proud to be involved in this monumental event, and to help enable a global forum where leading democracies will tackle the biggest issues facing the world today.”
Jo Hall, a superintendent at Devon and Cornwall Police, said the military “have been embedded within our team to provide essential knowledge and assistance”. This includes bomb disposal teams, which will act under the force’s command.
One thousand police officers will be housed in the MS Silja Europa, a cruise ship anchored off Falmouth, where a suspicious package was reported at a hotel early on Thursday morning. After sending in a ordnance disposal team, Devon and Cornwall Police said it is treating the incident as a “hoax”.
The US will also has a sizable security detachment – numbering in the hundreds – as well as three Osprey helicopters and the “Beast”, the heavily-armoured presidential limousine.
Joe Biden touched down in Newquay Airport at 11.45pm on Wednesday, after a quick stop-off at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.
In addition to the large police and army presence, St Ives, the small town which is hosting the summit, has been transformed by road checkpoints and military-grade steel fencing.
The talks between world leaders will take place at the Carbis Bay Hotel and will run from Friday to Sunday.
The cost of policing the event is thought to be around £70m.