G7 Cornwall: Police officers and dogs trained to spot signs of terrorism ahead of summit

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report

Devon and Cornwall Police is training for its biggest search operation as the force prepares for next month's G7 Summit.

800 search officers are being used to prevent any signs of terrorist or disruptive action, such as an explosive device, ahead of the international event.

150 police dogs are being brought into the force area to support the operation and sniffer dogs have been taught how to spot the signs of drugs, cash, guns, and ammunition.

Sniffer dogs have been taught how to spot the signs of drugs, cash, guns, and ammunition Credit: ITV West Country

While working, dogs are being trained to take down any suspect refusing to comply such as anyone who poses a threat with a weapon.

Police say unlike officers in protective equipment, using the dogs works as a tactic to surprise or disrupt the motives of an offender.

PC Steve Waters is one of the dog handlers for Devon and Cornwall Police and hopes the dogs will not encounter anyone with a gun or similar weapon but they do have to train just in case.

He said: "It's a scenario that you hope you will never have to do but we have to train as many different scenarios as possible.

Part of the training includes inspecting vehicles for any suspicious devices Credit: ITV West Country

"Generally with the shock of being bitten by a dog, they will generally let go of whatever they've got hold of."

Many of these tactics are already being used in the region but on a smaller scale so it does not draw much attention.

PC Paul Kearton is the force search advisor leading the operation and says officers are already trained for this type of police work.

"Devon and Cornwall Police maintain a number of licensed search officers that respond to normal defensives searches within our force area for protected visits. The G7 summit is just a much bigger scale."

5,000 extra officers are being brought in from around the country. 6,500 officers and staff will be deployed for the weekend itself, they say, to make sure the summit is secure and communities are safe.

PC Kearton said: "The location of the G7 summit presents a unique challenge to the force both on a search level and other elements of the operation.

"However this force is used to coping with those unique challenges and will make sure the officers that are deployed will be supported."

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