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Diamond Jubilee: Queen’s Celebration Spurs Massive Security Operation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

JEREMY SELWYN / EVENING STANDARD / ZUMA PRESS
Scotland Yard is preparing the biggest-ever royal-security operation for the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla. On Sunday, more than 13,000 police and security officials will line the Thames in London

On Sunday, as Queen Elizabeth II and members of the extended royal family cruise through London as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, security forces will have their eyes on Her Majesty. Given the menace of terrorism, they’ll also be watching the water, the crowds and the sky. Explosives set on bridges could detonate as boats pass underneath. Snipers lurking in tall buildings could fire into the throngs of well wishers along the 11-km route. Hijacked airplanes could crash directly into the river. “A security coordinator is appointed to look at such issues, to take necessary precautions and to advise those in charge,” says Dai Davies, the former head of Scotland Yard’s Royal Protection Unit. “But the truth is that for a journey of this kind and this length, it’s impossible to have total security.”

With the Queen and around 50 members of the extended royal family all gathering in one place, the stakes are higher than ever. As such the London police, Scotland Yard and MI5 — Britain’s counterintelligence unit — have been considering a slew of ugly scenarios as they prepare for this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee, the biggest royal-security operation ever staged in the U.K. Agencies have digitally mapped key locations from the air to identify weak spots, like rooftops, and intelligence units have tuned in to phone conversations and monitored the Internet for chatter of potential Diamond Jubilee terror. On the day itself, more than 6,000 officers will line the route — some dressed in plain clothes and embedded with the crowds. And another 7,000 stewards will help with general crowd control. Read the rest of this entry »

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