‘Disaster waiting to happen’ - calls to move Plymouth G7 protest site

MP Luke Pollard (pictured, inset) has called for plans to stage an anti-G7 protest in Plymouth to change. Credit: PA

Plans to stage a protest in Plymouth against the G7 summit in Cornwall have been branded “a disaster waiting to happen”.

MP Luke Pollard has written to police bosses urging them to reverse their decision to make Plymouth Hoe an official protest site.

It was chosen as one of four police-approved sites in the South West where protesters can gather in opposition to the summit, which will take place in Carbis Bay in June.

But Mr Pollard, who represents Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said allowing demonstrators to gather on the Hoe was “wrong”.

Mr Pollard says he has written to police bosses in Devon urging them to reconsider their protest plans.

“It is in our historic heart of our city, with limited ways in and out and would require protestors to travel through our city centre and Barbican,” he said.

“It is a disaster waiting to happen. I want the police to consider moving the protest to Central Park which has more space and is a location that is familiar to the police because of policing Argyle games at Home Park.

The MP has since written to the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police urging them to reconsider.

He has also written to the recently re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

Where are the protest locations?

  • Plymouth - The Hoe

  • Exeter - Flowerpots Playing Fields

  • Falmouth - Church Street Car Park

  • Truro - Lemon Quay

Superintendent Jo Hall, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the locations were agreed with local councils before being announced.

“It’s important that people can exercise their right to protest legally and peacefully,” she said.

Police officers pictured in St Ives, where world leaders at this summer's G7 summit are expected to stay. Credit: BPM Media

"This should not impact residents and businesses and so we’ve been working with local councils to agree appropriate protest sites.

“Anyone who wishes to express their views is encouraged to use one of the dedicated sites.

“As ever, our thinking will be based upon making this a peaceful and safe event for all concerned.”

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