The coronation will feature one of the largest security operations ever | UK News
The king’s coronation will be one of the “most important security operations the country has planned,” a home minister said.
Security Secretary Tom Tugendhat said it had been in the planning for months and hoped it would also be an “opportunity to showcase Britain to the world”.
The Security Secretary was speaking after the arrest of a man after suspected shotgun shells were thrown into the grounds of Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
Police last night handcuffed the suspect, who was taken into custody after witnesses said he was seen throwing a “number of objects” around the compound before his arrest.
It is said that he was heard shouting “I want to kill the king” before attempting to enter the palace.
Mr Tugendhat said this morning: “What we have been planning for a number of months is one of the most important security operations that the country has planned.
“The reason for this is that this coronation is not only an opportunity to celebrate our new King, but also an opportunity to showcase the United Kingdom to the world.
“So we are very aware that there will be literally thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of foreign tourists, there will be many film crews and journalists from all over the world and of course we will have heads of state and government coming to celebrate with us on Saturday .
“So this is a hugely important moment for the country. The police are, to put it mildly, and our intelligence and other security forces are keenly aware of the challenges we face and ready to take on them – as the police did brilliantly yesterday.”
It was reported last week that security for the coronation would cost the UK around £150million.
This would fund the deployment of thousands of police and protection squads, with rooftop snipers and large numbers of armed police officers.
Coronation of King Charles III. At latest
The historic coronation of Her Majesties King Charles III. and Queen Camilla takes place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May 2023.
For the latest royal updates, visit Metro.co.uk’s dedicated Coronations page.
Another operation to stop activists stopping the event – codenamed Operation Golden Orb – involves police drones monitoring crowds for shady activity.
Disruptions could be caused by groups like Just Stop Oil and Republic merging.
Special Forces will also be on standby as part of the UK’s Counter Terrorism Defense Mechanism, with Blue Thunder 2 helicopters on standby in the event of an attack.
A special air traffic control plan has been drawn up for incoming dignitaries, Interior Ministry sources said.
Landing sites will have tightened security including RAF Northolt in Middlesex and RAF Biggleswade in Bedfordshire from Thursday, amid fears climate change protests would aim to disrupt the arrival of private jets.
Mr Hugenhadt said “we are in no way complacent” about the safety challenge posed by the coronation but declined to claim the cost of the operation.
He told Sky News of the alleged £150million spend: “It’s not a number I recognise.”
He said: “It’s very difficult to pull that out as a separate number for the simple reason that we’ve put tremendous effort into different parts of the country for a major incident like this – because people are gathering, people are gathering in the streets, people are gathering across the country because this is a moment of national celebration.
“What I think is worth looking at is how much this is bringing to the country in terms of the number of tourists that are coming, the amount of attention that is coming and actually, I hope, the amount of business that is coming.” will be generated by Heads of State and Government and other business people who are coming to the UK at this time to see what we are offering.’
He told BBC Radio 4 today: “We are demonstrating that security can be a liberator in a democracy, not like an authoritarian state where it controls.”
Asked about a letter to anti-monarchy group Republic outlining the new powers to prevent disruptive protests, Mr Tugendhat said: “They have the freedom for everyone in the UK to protest, which they don’t have the power to do to do is to disturb others.
“And this is exactly where we come in and make a difference.”
Asked if the new laws would prevent them from unfurling banners in certain locations or entering the parade route, Mr Tugendhat said: “I will not go into the details of what you can or cannot do for fear can encourage people to find loopholes in it for very obvious reasons.’
He added that the presence of foreign leaders at the coronation made the operation even more complicated.
“It’s entirely possible that we are dealing with protest groups that have nothing to do with the UK but are trying to protest a foreign leader who is visiting or who wants to make a complaint about something that hundreds or thousands of people are concerned about happened kilometers away.
“So this is a very complex police operation, a very complex intelligence operation.”
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