UK police vow tough action against wedding protests

Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:16pm EDT
 
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - British police promised they would crack down "robustly" on anyone trying to disrupt Friday's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, appealing to the public to help them spot any troublemakers.

Some 5,000 police officers will be on duty in London on Friday to deal with potential threats ranging from international Islamist militants to anarchists and stalkers.

At a briefing on Tuesday, senior officers said they would not tolerate anyone who attempted to disrupt the event, which will be viewed by hundreds of thousands on the streets and by as many as 2 billion people on television worldwide.

"We intend to interact robustly, quickly and firmly if anybody engages in any criminal activity," London Police's Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens told the news conference.

"We really need you to be our eyes and our ears. If you see anybody in the crowd that is acting suspiciously please bring it to the earliest attention of our officers."

Britain is currently at its second highest threat level of "severe," meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely and security services have foiled a number of plots since the deadly July 7, 2005 attacks on London's transport system.

Specialist royal protection teams and armed officers will be on duty as part of overt and covert plans, while Owens also confirmed that military personnel would be present as part of the security operation.

"We have no specific intelligence to suggest a threat to this event at this time," said Commander Christine Jones.   Continued...

 
<p>Armed police officers patrol a side street near Westminster Abbey ahead of this weeks' Royal Wedding in central London, April 26, 2011. British police promised they would crack down "robustly" on anyone trying to disrupt Friday's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, appealing to the public to help them spot any troublemakers. REUTERS/Andrew Winning</p>