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”.
With so many officers in the town, Thames Valley Police were quick to assure people that the tactics in place would not distract from the celebratory atmosphere. However, they also said that in case of a threat, they had ‘more robust tactics’ at their disposal. They also said that they had received no intelligence of a threat before the event, and had made no arrests in connection with the wedding. The issue of most concern, according to a former Scotland Yard royalty protection police chief, was one of crowd control in the event of an incident.
In London news, moped gangs are terrorising the city in violent attacks against the public and other moped riders. The attacks are concentrated mostly in the West End and are used to facilitate jewellery store raids, mobile phone snatches and acid attacks. Moped and scooter attacks are on the rise, with around 16,000 such attacks in 2017 compared with just over 1,000 in 2014.
According to The Guardian, last year one gang carried out 30 robberies in just one hour. On June 5th of this year, moped riders raided a jeweller on Regent Street. Bystanders including a plainclothes officer tried to stop the gang, who were wielding “machete-type” knives and hammers. The officer is said to have tried to wrestle one of the suspects, who then fled on foot.
Earlier this month, comedian Michael McIntyre had his Rolex watch stolen by such a gang, who accosted him in front of his son. The pair escaped unhurt, though the thieves smashed his car window before demanding that he hand over the timepiece.