The splinter groups who roughed up central London over the weekend could strike again during the royal wedding, warns Met Commander Bob Broadhurst.
“The concern for me is that they do what they did yesterday in central London and divert resources away from my security plan and take our eye off the ball security wise,” he tells the Telegraph.
149 people were charged over the weekend following occupations and vandalism timed to coincide with the peaceful TUC-led protest march against cuts. Most of the charges were for trespass, however, and levelled at the relatively quiescent UK Uncut group who occupied Fortnum & Mason.
These were the easy arrests to make. The masked vandals who later rampaged around London’s streets, smashing windows, spraying graffiti and attacking the increasingly jinxed Olympic clock, proved harder to round up. More arrests will no doubt follow. The clean-up bill is expected to cost in the tens of thousands of pounds.
Attention will now turn to the next big policing and security effort — the royal wedding on 29 April. Commander Broadhurst outlined the different challenges:
“For the wedding, we’ll be looking from terrorism downwards. For protests, we’re hoping that people come and put their rights to good effect and protest peacefully. They are two different ends of the spectrum.”