© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mounted Metropolitan Police exterior Wellington Barracks, central London, forward of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Corridor, London. Image date: Wednesday September 14, 2022. Be
By Andrew MacAskill and Sachin Ravikumar
LONDON (Reuters) – London’s police drive mentioned the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth would be the greatest safety operation it has ever undertaken as prime ministers, presidents and royals come collectively on Monday to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
The queen’s funeral is predicted to draw tons of of 1000’s of individuals to London’s streets, echoing different essential occasions in Britain’s historical past, together with her coronation in 1953, the funeral of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965 and the loss of life of Princess Diana in 1997.
Stuart Cundy, London’s Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, mentioned the drive was getting ready for occasions starting from terrorism threats to protests and crowd crushes.
He mentioned his drive could be deploying the biggest ever variety of officers on town’s streets and the biggest safety operation for world leaders and royals within the police’s nearly 200 yr historical past, with officers from nearly each drive within the nation deployed.
Among the many specialist officers on obligation will probably be divers, canine handlers, police on horses, bike outriders, firearms officers and shut safety officers, who will guard leaders and members of the royal household from around the globe.
U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the many most high-profile friends from abroad who’ve confirmed they are going to be attending.
Cundy mentioned the huge policing operation would surpass different main policing occasions in London, together with the 2012 Olympics and the celebrations in June for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which celebrated her 70 years on the British throne.
To present an thought of the size of the operation, Cundy mentioned 22 miles (36 km) of limitations had been deployed in central London to assist management the crowds.
“There’s completely nothing that compares to our policing operation this week, and notably on Monday for the state funeral,” Cundy instructed Reuters. “This would be the single largest policing operation that the Met police has ever undertaken and I feel is each prone to undertake.”
The police operation will probably be overseen by Mark Rowley, who’s in his first week within the job as the pinnacle of London’s police after rejoining the drive having beforehand served because the nationwide lead for counter-terrorism.
London police have to date made 34 arrests within the run as much as the funeral, however none of them have been associated to protests. There was criticism that in Scotland police had been overly heavy-handed in coping with these voicing objection.
“Folks have the suitable to protest,” Cundy mentioned. “Our response will probably be proportionate, it is going to be balanced, and our officers will solely be taking motion the place it’s completely needed.”
Tim De Meyer, the assistant chief constable of Thames Valley Police, who will probably be in command of the policing operation in Windsor the place the queen will probably be taken from London to be buried, mentioned the general public will face airport-style screening.
“Our contingency planning considers an entire vary of various eventualities which incorporates the whole lot from terror assaults to felony exercise to crowd surges and crushing,” Cundy mentioned.
Two cops have been stabbed in an incident unrelated to the funeral, or terrorism, in central London on Friday which he mentioned introduced “into sharp focus, the necessity for all officers who’re on obligation, the members of the general public, to maintain that vigilance”.