Women in Glasgow were forced to walk home through a 'pitch black' Kevingrove Park Monday night. The reason? Apparently, an exclusive reception for world leaders and royals at Cop26. Majority of the well-lit streets were blocked off and the women in the region had to face the 'dark' consequences. After forcing women to walk home on dark paths, Police Scotland drew intense criticism, with many saying, "Little or no strategic thinking involved in planning this event." Later, the usual series of post event apologies started.
The residents living near the venue of the event said, police guarding the security cordon instructed the locals to walk long distances through Kelvingrove Park and side streets in Finnieston as main roads were closed off in order to allow COP delegates to drive around in safety.
Diversions were put in place as world leaders and the Royal Family met at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for a dinner reception.
Many Residents Forced to Adopt Long Routes
Many residents took to social media and described their experience. Some women were scared as police officers stalked them in the dark paths while others said, they were compelled to take longer diversions even when their homes were nearby.
One resident commented, "It took me 75 minutes to get home last night instead of 25... not a problem for me, but I felt very sorry for people less able to walk an extra 50 minutes just to cross a road and get to their homes. No notice and the police couldn't say when people could cross again..."
Unsafe Women Left in Tears
One Twitter user, named Katy, said, "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 1st year student in tears because she was in the same position and had a man following her through the dark path; a male police officer..."
She continued, "Was insisting he'd escort her despite her repeatedly saying she didn't want that, calling her "sweetheart" and "too emotional". If we hadn't passed and been able to walk her home I honestly don't know what could have happened."
Another user wrote, "What's uncalled for is letting a police force that has had several officers recently convicted of murder, rape and child sex abuse go on a lad's tour to Glasgow where they can stalk girls forced to walk through parks with no street lights at night because the streets are cordoned."
One comment read, "It seems women's safety is last on the priority list."
According to Gary Ritchie, assistant chief constable, the diversions were imposed at a short notice due to "real-time changes to operational plans".
Ritchie continued, "While late changes and some level of disruption is inevitable when policing an event the size and scale of COP26, we understand and apologize for the concern these changes caused and for the inconvenience to those diverted."