Police apologize as women put in danger at COP26


Women put in danger as cordons forced long walks through dark areas during COP26

Police have apologised as women were forced to walk long detours through unlit areas during a COP26 event in Glasgow. An exclusive reception for leaders from around the world was held at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and diversions were put in place as the heads of state gathered for the COP26 welcome reception. 

Residents of the surrounding areas took to social media to tell how they were forced to take long detours due to road closures put in place for the event. One person wrote of meeting a young student in tears, scared of having to walk through the park alone. She wrote: “We were sent away from one exit to the main gate, then told we had to do exactly that detour to get to Partick. On the way found a first-year student in tears because she was in the same position and had a man following her through the dark path; a male police office.”

Twitter user Miss Private tweeted to Glasgow City Council, saying: “We understand shutting down Kelvin Way for #Cop26 but being made to walk through #kelvingrove park in darkness is not safe.”

Some members of the Royal Family were in attendance at the event, along with the Prime Minister. Police apologised for the situation. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “Residents were diverted on their way home, including on foot through Kelvingrove Park, following real-time changes to operational plans on Monday night.

“While late changes and some level of disruption is inevitable when policing an event the size and scale of COP26, we understand and apologise for the concern these changes caused and for the inconvenience to those diverted.

“We do, in particular, recognise and acknowledge the commentary from some women who had to walk through the park on their own last night, we want to keep everyone safe and we know that the onus is on us to recognise when we could provide some more support and visibility to reassure people in our communities.

“The diversion is no longer in place and there are no plans to reintroduce it. Should further diversions be required at short notice for operational purposes, we will look to establish additional patrols in the area to provide reassurance.”

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Written by

Claire Gordon