In an unprecedented covert and overt police operation in effect for friday’s royal wedding festivities, approximately 5,000 officers were on the streets of London to police a million-strong crowd cheering on Prince William and Kate Middleton as they tied the knot.
In their largest security operation in over a generation, British police said their handling of the royal wedding had been an “amazing success” as the day went ahead without any disruption to the celebrations.
Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens said her officers should be “immensely proud” of their role in the “happy and safe” event.
The security operation included pre-event raids throughout London, thousands of of officers lining the procession route and snipers and spotters scanning the streets below from rooftops throughout the area.
In all, 55 arrests were made with 5 offically charged. A further three people have been bailed without charge. Included in the arrests was a man spotted taking suspicious photographs of transport hubs and security personnel in the Charing Cross area, a group of people at Charing Cross railway station carrying climbing equipment and anti-monarchy placards, and masked anarchists from the Right Royal Orgy Group gathered in Soho Square. Other offenses included an alleged sex attack on a 14-year-old girl, criminal damage and 25 breaches of the peace.
Owens commented, “A number of individuals were arrested who we felt were intent on causing disruption, committing acts of criminality or likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to the vast majority of people who wanted to come and celebrate this joyous occasion.”
Scotland Yard believes their successful performance should convince people they are ready for the 2012 London Olympics and Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee next year.
Helping the success of the day was the good behavior of the crowds who adhered to police restrictions and crowd control.
Where you in London on Friday? What did you think of the police presence?