Met raises security as SW19 gets set for annual tennis championships
Police, including armed officers, are carrying out extra patrols around Wimbledon as they prepare for The All England Lawn Tennis Club Championships, which takes place from July 2-15.
In the run-up to the tournament, officers have been patrolling the local area as more and more people arrive in South West London ahead of the two-week event.
The Met said in a statement: There is a flexible, appropriate policing plan in place for the duration of The Championships. While we won’t comment on specific security measures, we have been working closely with The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and other partners to ensure that people inside and outside the Grounds are safe and secure.
“The Met continually reviews and refines plans for all types of major events, and planning has been ongoing for some months. A wide range of policing tactics will be deployed during the event to prevent crime and safeguard public safety.
Officers will be carrying out high-visibility patrols in the local area, and firearms officers and a highly mobile reserve that can respond to emerging incidents will be on standby.
“In addition, specially-trained officers from Project Servator will be deployed in and around the venue to deter and detect criminal activity, and provide reassurance to spectators.
“They will be supported by armed officers, police dogs and horses and other visible and less visible security measures, and will work closely with security staff, stewards and CCTV operators as well as talking to local businesses and visitors. Officers will be working both in uniform and in plain clothes.
“While the focus of those attending should be on enjoying the tennis and the atmosphere, we would urge people to be vigilant and report anything unusual or suspicious to security staff and/or a police officer, or by calling 999.
“One of our priorities is minimising disruption to residents who live in the area, and maintaining a high level of community policing for Merton borough.
Superintendent Jo Edwards, who is in charge of the policing of this year's Championships, said: "This is a fabulous time of year for south-west London and the capital, with hundreds of thousands of people coming to watch one of the year’s most prestigious sporting events.
“Our job is to help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable, memorable time, and as is the case every year, a lot of preparation has gone into the policing plan for this event. Each year we review and modify our plans to keep the public safe. The current threat level is among the factors that informs our plans.
"We have worked closely with The All England Lawn Tennis Club, British Transport Police and other partners over many years, building up an excellent working relationship to ensure a safe and secure event.
"The Met has vast experience in policing large-scale events such as this, and we look forward to working to make it a safe environment for everyone who attends.”
Advice ahead of The Championships to those intending to visit:
- Police advise that other than Ticketmaster, the AELTC does not have any authorised ticket-only agents who sell tickets on the internet. Never buy from touts in the street as you risk being sold a ticket that isn't genuine.
- Crowds can attract opportunistic thieves so always keep an eye on your belongings, and keep bags zipped, with phones out of sight.
- Where possible, please try to bring a single-compartment bag that meets the size specifications - this greatly assists in search and speed of entry
- Follow @MPSMerton and @Wimbledon to obtain up-to-date information throughout The Championships.
- Key advice for anyone attending an event this summer (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/act-summer-security-know-the-game-plan):
+ Arrive early and minimise what you carry. Fewer bag searches speed up entry in events.
+ Be vigilant: If you see anything suspicious, tell a member of staff straight away.
+ If you see anything which could pose an immediate threat to safety, call 999.
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June 29, 2018