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Diamond Jubilee: Massive London security operation planned
The Metropolitan Police have planned a security operation for the Diamond Jubilee weekend which is larger than that for last year's royal wedding.
Up to 6,000 extra police officers will be on duty throughout the events and celebrations in London.
They will be joined by 7,000 security stewards lining the River Thames during the 1,000-boat flotilla for the Queen on Sunday.
Scotland Yard commanders have spent 18 months planning for the events.
The operation is primarily focused on the huge logistical challenges of policing the river pageant.
At high water, there will be 1,000 vessels escorting a royal barge carrying the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The barge will be followed by another boat carrying other senior members of the Royal Family.
The event is so large that it will take the entire flotilla some 75 minutes to pass any given point on the river bank - meaning that Scotland Yard's resources will have to be spread along a seven-mile route with additional teams at the muster and dispersal points in the west and east of the capital.
While thousands of police officers will be on duty, along with officers already performing normal duties in the capital, a further 7,000 security stewards will line the riverside route where crowds will gather to see the flotilla or watch big screens.
All riverside roads will be closed to traffic, as will many bridges. Those bridges that are open to traffic will close for an hour as a security precaution as the Royal Barge passes underneath.
The Metropolitan Police's Marine Unit, which has played a long-standing role in counter-terrorism planning in London, will have its entire fleet of 21 boats on the Thames. Essex Police are lending a further two vessels to the force for the operation.
The fleet of police vessels includes standard marked boats moving through the waters. Meanwhile other vessels, including rapid-response rigid inflatables, will be stationed at strategic locations to take officers to critical incidents.
Almost 200 safety boats will be part of the flotilla, including RNLI life boats and fire brigade vessels.
Rope climbing team
Scotland Yard commanders are aware of the possibility that lone individuals may try to disrupt the flotilla after a man swam into the Thames during the University Boat Race. The swimmer, Trenton Oldfield, denies causing a public nuisance but his bail conditions ban him from going near Jubilee events or any Olympic venue.
Police dogs trained to detect bombs will search vessels while police divers will search for underwater threats. Scotland Yard is also deploying its specialist rope climbing team to perform comprehensive searches of London's bridges.
Counter-terrorism and Royal protection officers will be on duty as usual. The Scotland Yard-based national Fixated Threat Assessment Centre, which tracks people who are dangerously obsessed with the Royal Family or other individuals in public life, has also been monitoring people who could cause harm.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh told the BBC that Scotland Yard had thought through "every eventuality".
"The pageant organisers, Transport for London and the Port of London Authority, together with the Metropolitan Police have been looking at all the different contingencies that could take place," he said.
"We have that many vessels on the water, that many people coming into London, we have been trying to think what they need to ensure they have a safe and secure day."
Mr Kavanagh said even though the Metropolitan Police have vast experience in securing major public events, the unique nature of the river pageant meant they had to plan for it in its own right.
"We have drawn together all the different issues from VIP protection issues, all the visiting dignitaries that we work with and the Royal Family, but the essence of this is that we want people to be safe," he added.
Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2012 BBC
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