UK police are ramping up security measures at this summer’s major sporting events, with a ‘ring of steel’ to be enforced at this weekend’s Fifa World Cup qualifier between Scotland and England and next month’s Wimbledon tennis championships.
Following the terrorist attacks in London, Manchester and other major cities in the past year, police have been forced to increase their presence at crowded sporting events, while also cracking down on entrance procedures and bag checks.
Looking ahead to the Hampden Park game between Scotland and England, the Scottish Football Association and police have been in talks since the Manchester Arena bombing last month following pop-star Ariana Grande’s concert.
Ticket-holders at the World Cup qualifier will face extra security checks, with an increased police presence that will be extended outside the stadium footprint, including further officers patrolling the city centre.
Police patrolling the Wimbledon tennis championship in London next month will also form a ‘ring of steel’, with checkpoints to be stationed on the roads surrounding the grounds to restrict vehicle access for the first time.
A “dedicated deployment” of armed officers will also be on duty during the championships, according to the Telegraph newspaper.
The Metropolitan Police told the Daily Telegraph: “The Metropolitan Police Service is working closely with the All England Lawn Tennis Club to prepare for the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.
“We will not discuss specific security arrangements that will form part of our policing operation. However, in light of recent events, including the attack in Manchester, the operation has been, and will continue to be, thoroughly reviewed.
“A range of tactics will be put in place, some highly visible, including enhanced physical security and some that the public will not notice, which includes a dedicated deployment of armed officers.
“Armed officers have supported the policing operation in previous years.”
The London 2017 athletics competition, golf’s Open Championship, Formula 1’s British Grand Prix and the Royal Ascot horse-racing event will all be subject to a high-level security lockdown.
Image: Cal Umbra