‘Like the Avengers are coming!’ - Inside the village in 'lockdown' ahead of G7 Summit in Cornwall

  • Watch: Carbis Bay residents react to 'lockdown'

The Cornish village hosting the G7 Summit has been placed in a police lockdown before world leaders arrive for talks.

A giant steel fence has created a ring of steel around much of Carbis Bay, with armed police now guarding the hotel which will become the temporary home of world leaders throughout the summit.

The sound of crashing waves on Cornish beaches has been replaced with that of military helicopters and planes flying over the heads of surfers.

The army has been drafted in to work alongside the thousands of police officers who have made their way to Cornwall to help secure the area.

The area is now part of a large "no-fly" zone, with residents who require access having to provide two forms of ID to get past key checkpoints.

Police are enforcing a number of road blocks while the Royal Navy’s HMS Tamar will patrol the beachfront.

Several routes are closed with police officers patrolling the area. Credit: PA
HMS Tamar pictured on patrol. Credit: PA

‘Like the Avengers were coming’

For residents, who are required to show two forms of identification to get to some areas, it is a surreal experience.

“All those helicopters were pretty crazy,” one man said.

“It’s like the Avengers were coming or something.”

Another said: “It’s crazy but it’s once-in-a-lifetime so might as well just enjoy it and roll with it.”

Roads have been closed ahead of the summit. Credit: PA
Police officers sweep the beach near Carbis Bay Hotel, where world leaders will stay. Credit: PA
Officers patrol the railway track into Carbis Bay. Credit: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the “eyes of the world” will be on Cornwall when leaders meet for discussions later this week.

It will be the first time they have met in person since before the pandemic, and the first time Joe Biden has left the US since being elected President.

David Upton, landlord of The Cornish Arms, joked: “Well, wouldn’t it be nice if Bojo and Biden popped in for a pint? There’s no doubt about that.”

For Devon and Cornwall Police, the G7 ranks as the biggest policing operation in the force’s history.

Carbis Bay Hotel hosted world leaders including Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden. Credit: PA

Around 6,500 police officers from every force in the country are in Cornwall to protect the summit.

As well as 4,000 rooms booked, around 1,000 officers will be accommodated on an Estonian cruise ship docked in Falmouth, with more than 16,000 meals prepared each day.

Superintendent Jo Hall said: "It's by no means about luxury. It's about appropriate comfortable accommodation for our staff and it will feed our officers and staff so they'll have three meals a day on there and a packed lunch when they go out to deploy.

"The facilities that are available are your essential facilities. So there will be a bed, there will be a board and there will be some open space for them to sit and a cafe to feed them."

A police boat on patrol near St Ives. Credit: PA

'Anything but normal' - Charlotte Gay, reporting for ITV News West Country

Life is anything but normal right now.

But despite armed police officers, military aircraft and naval protection out at sea, residents are going about their daily activities without too much disruption.

Speaking to locals as they take photos of the officers flanking the Tregenna Castle estate, they agree it certainly is a spectacle.

One painter and decorator I grabbed a word with by one of the road blocks told me "it's like the Avengers have come to town".

Another care nurse doing the rounds agreed it was quite exciting - but so far had not found too much disruption with the road closures.

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