More than 30,000 officers were out in force at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in one of the largest operations the Thames Valley force has ever conducted. Over 100,000 people visited the town on the big day, joined by a number of undercover officers in the crowd and watched over by thousands more uniformed officers. The operation was rumoured to cost £30million, but Police Commissioner Anthony Stansfield has since revealed that the true cost was only “between 2million and 3million”.
Police have appealed for information after a suitcase containing over 1 million in jewels was stolen from a Birmingham bound train. The valuable gems including sapphires, rubies and emeralds were being transported by a jewellery dealer before being stolen.
The Met has five years to cut a billion pounds from its budget, and low-level crime is bearing the brunt of it. Former police officers have slammed the policy as “justice dreamed up by bean-counters”.
We all have to make economies sometimes, but police cutbacks are a scary thought – less staff doing more work for longer periods, just when the force faces fresh challenges alongside increased petty crimes, could be a false economy.
After six gruelling days, ‘Mr Gorilla’ — otherwise known as Tom Harrison — finally completed the London Marathon. Why so long? Well, Mr Harrison’s method differed from the traditional two-legged approach. He reasoned that as he was wearing a gorilla costume, he might as well crawl on all fours like a gorilla too! For twelve hours each day, Mr Harrison crawled the entire length of the course to raise money for the Gorilla Organisation — a group that works to protect the endangered species in West Africa.
Deep in the heart of London police are combating a growing rise in the number of young thieves who have resorted to using mopeds in crowded urban areas to orchestrate quick and opportunistic robberies. Targeting handheld electronic devices, such as cameras and phones, thieves have been known to mount pavements and weave in between groups of people and even tables, snatching devices out of the hands of victims before quickly speeding away.
A recent slew of press reports highlight the growing issue that is gun and knife crime in the capital. Despite all efforts to the contrary, Metropolitan Police Reports show that crimes involving bladed weapons and guns rose by 24% and 42% respectively in the year 2016-17.
Last year, the Metropolitan Police Service confiscated £73 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows any money earned as the result of a criminal offence to be recovered. The total was the largest since the Act became law in 2002 and contributed to the £317 million seized or confiscated since Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the retiring commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, took office in 2011.
Here’s a roundup of some security-related news in the UK and beyond.
Changing of the Guard to Change Days
The changing of the guard, a tradition that takes place outside London’s Buckingham Palace, is to move days during the autumn and winter months. The ceremony used to take place on alternate days but will now change to fixed days during this time period. Metropolitan Police increased security at a recent event in December, and additional barriers at Buckingham Palace will remain in place for the time being. The changes are part of an ongoing initiative to boost security at events in London.
In an audacious recent New York raid, an opportunistic thief stole a heavy bucket of gold flakes worth over £1 million from a security van parked briefly on a busy city street. However, as investigators soon noted from the clear CCTV footage, the somewhat hapless robber struggled to carry the 39-kilogramme load – taking an hour to cover a distance that usually takes around ten minutes. The incident took place near the Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan; the suspect is thought to have headed south to Florida with his cumbersome bucket of booty.