Security experts plan ‘hostile’ environment for terrorists head of Wembley game and rugby final at Twickenham
THE Met Police have launched a London-wide security operation around four major sporting events aimed at creating a “hostile environment for terrorists”.
Counter-terrorism specialists have worked closely with event managers in an effort to ensure the FA Cup final and play-off finals at Wembley as well as rugby’s Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham pass off safely.
Security has been increased following Monday night’s attack in Manchester which saw 22 people killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert.
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Military personnel will support armed officers on the streets of London, the transport network and around both Wembley and Twickenham this weekend.
Armoured vehicles will also be deployed to create a visible presence – while covert undercover teams will be working across the capital.
Chief Superintendent Jon Williams, the man in charge of public order policing, has revealed security for the four finals has been reviewed after the events in Manchester.
Chief Superintendent Williams said: “Our operation across London is also designed to move around from location to location – focusing on popular areas where people gather and events that may not have previously had a police presence.
“All of this is designed to make the policing approach unpredictable and to make London as hostile an environment as possible to terrorists.
“We are working closely with both the Football Association and Wembley to ensure this weekend’s iconic football matches pass off without incident.
“The focus is the safety and security of fans. Anyone coming to the FA Cup final or the other play-off matches over the weekend will see an increase in police numbers in and around the stadium.
“This will include extra armed officers on foot patrol around the environs of the stadium, and the deployment of police armoured vehicles to support road closures.
“At Twickenham, rugby fans will see more armed officers on foot around the stadium.
“If you have a ticket for any of the matches please help us out. Arrive earlier as there will be additional security and entry searches which may take a bit longer than fans are used to.
“Our operations will include a range of highly visible but also covert and discrete tactics and this will run far beyond the final whistle and away from specific stadia.
“This will also apply right throughout the transport network.
“I would ask people to be our eyes and ears – if you see something suspicious tell a police officer or member of security staff.
“If you are out in London this weekend or at an event talk to our officers, they are there to reassure, help and keep you safe.”