Queen’s funeral: Met Police arrest more than 30 people ahead of ‘single biggest policing event in history’
More than 30 people have been arrested by Met Police ahead of the Queen’s funeral.
Scotland Yard say the state funeral will be the single biggest policing event in the Met’s history.
The force said it would be deploying the greatest number of officers in its nearly 200 year history to maintain safety as world leaders descend on London on Monday to attend the Queen’s funeral.
The Met’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Stuart Cundy, said in a briefing the force was expecting around 2,000 officers from other forces from across the country to be drafted in to help.
DAC Cundy could not yet give exact numbers of officers deployed but said: “Such is the unique nature of what we have been dealing with this week and what we will be on Monday, that it’s something that we would never be able to compare, the like of it, I’m sure, not just in the past but also again in the future.
“So I can confirm this will be the largest single policing event that the Met Police has ever undertaken.
“This is larger than the 2012 Olympics, it’s larger than the Platinum Jubilee weekend”.
He added: “This will be the largest global protection operation that the Met has ever undertaken.
“We will have hundreds of world leaders, UK leaders and VIPs here in London, it is a hugely complex operation”.
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To date, 34 people have been arrested in connection in the area of events associated with the passing of the Queen, he said, while around 11 members of the public had been spoken to about flying drones over central London, which is banned.
None of the arrests were for protests, he said, while some 36km of barriers have been deployed in central London in a bid to control the crowds.
“People have the right to protest. Our response will be proportionate, it will be balanced and our officers will only be taking action where it is absolutely necessary,” he said.
The stabbing of two police officers near Leicester Square on Friday is not thought to be related to any of the events associated with the Queen’s death, but DAC Cundy said it brought into “sharp focus” the need for vigilance.
Asked by reporters how many plots to disrupt the events had been foiled, Mr Cundy did not give numbers.
A newspaper report had earlier suggested that a man who was found in Thames with go-pro in the early hours of Friday could be an eco-activist who may wish to disrupt events.
But Mr Cundy said officers had carried out checks, and that it was “nothing more than a man going for a charity swim”.
Thousands are set to descend on London to pay their respects to the late monarch on Monday, with TfL preparing for unprecedented crowds on the travel network.
On Friday morning, the queue to see the Queen lying in state was closed for at least six hours after stretching nearly 5 miles from Westminster to Southwark Park.