Police And Council Keep Wimbledon Safe During The Tennis

Both organisations outline their procedure for the Championships

Police and council staff have well-established plans to delivering a safe tennis championships in Wimbledon during the next two weeks.

The Met says it continually develops and refines plans for this type of event. This year a wide range of policing tactics are in use - including significant numbers of officers patrolling the local area, firearms officers and a highly mobile reserve that can respond to emerging incidents. Officers will be working in uniform and in plain clothes during the event. 

It also says one of its priorities is making sure that Wimbledon’s local residents continue to receive the same policing as usual during the course of The Championships.

Chief Superintendent Colin Morgan, who is in charge of the policing of this year's Championships, said: "The Wimbledon Tennis Championships is a fantastic event and one of the truly great British sporting events which we are ready to police in partnership with the All England Club, the London Boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth and our blue light partners. 

"At the conclusion of last year's Championships the Met's planning team started preparing for the tournament this year. We have reflected on previous operational plans and the prevailing threat to the UK. As a result, we have adapted our plans where necessary to ensure we deliver a safe and secure Championships for 2016.

"Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Championships each year. I encourage everyone to have a great time but to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to a police officer or member of AELTC staff. In particular, I encourage everyone to take extra care of their property, especially handbags, wallets and mobile phones. Please keep your valuables and other items secure and with you at all times.

“This year, we are working with the AELTC and BTP on a publicity campaign to ensure everyone working at, or attending this year's Championships remains alert but not alarmed. We will be making full use of Twitter this year to provide up-to-date information concerning the policing of this event and visitors to The Championships are encouraged to follow." 

Merton Council has also unveiled its secrets of keeping the Championships running smoothly - whether it is their waste team emptying up to 3,000 bags of rubbish or the Trading Standards team checking your Pimm’s and strawberries.

Find out more about some of Merton Council’s staff who help to keep the borough moving:

Tony Gant
Environment and Regeneration

It might sound like a load of old rubbish, but the environment and regeneration team will spend 12 hours a day, every day of the Championship fortnight cleaning up after thousands of tennis fans.

Up to 7,000 people a day will queue in Wimbledon Park, with thousands of them pitching tents in a bid to get sought-after tickets. The council puts out between 2,000 and 3,000 bags along the queue line, both for recycling and waste, then empty them when they’re full. Over the fortnight the team will collect up to 16 tonnes of rubbish – that’s the weight of more than four Centre Court roofs (both fixed and moving) combined.

Two tankers manned by four people will empty the portable toilets across five sites as well. They can clear up to 10,000 litres a day.

Neil Milligan
Building and Development Control Manager

Neil is the man in charge of the lights on Centre Court after 11pm. Back in 2012 at 10.59pm, Andy Murray was still playing in a nail biting match on Centre Court, televised on the BBC and being watched by millions. Rumours that the council would turn off the lights at 11pm sharp, ending play, fired up on social media. Meanwhile, Neil was already on the phone to Wimbledon’s chief executive Richard Lewis granting permission to extend play if necessary, and a tweet shortly after to say the council says the match can carry on, resulted in an outpouring of relief from fans on Twitter. Luckily the match ended at 11.01pm.

Andrew Bradley
Environmental Health (Commercial) Manager

You may not notice Andrew Bradley and his team of six food safety officers who work all year round to ensure people can enjoy their strawberries and cream and glasses of Pimm’s safely.

They carry out samples on a dizzying array of food, from sandwiches to burgers and chips to sushi, said to be Andy Murray’s favourite. They send ice and other items to laboratories for testing, check the temperatures of cooked food, and monitor staff. They will be there behind the scenes throughout the tournament, making sure everyone stays safe.

They work in partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis Club and Public Health England to ensure tennis goers have fun and do not go home with more than they bargained for.

John Hillarby
Trading Standards Manager

If you’re planning to treat yourself to any Wimbledon merchandise as a memento of your trip during the fortnight, John and his team will be making sure anything you buy outside and inside of the tournament is licensed.

Working with the police, they crack down fake goods sellers and warn – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. They also make sure you are not being ripped off- whether that is being over-charged for drinks or getting less than you thought in your glass. If you think you have been sold counterfeit goods, or if you suspect somebody is selling fake goods, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 who will then contact the Councils Trading Standards Service.

Jim Rogers
Business and Customer Services Manager

The leisure team manage 600 cars a day parking in Wimbledon Park and help to organise an incredibly popular park and ride service for tennis staff and visitors,

The parking team help residents to park outside their houses while restrictions are in place and control the traffic movement in the area.

They remove vehicles which break the rules. The council even looks out for animals left in cars while their owners are court side. It all helps to keep the borough moving.

Police advice to those heading to the tennis: 

- Buy a ticket from an official site, 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.

- To help make your day out as easy as possible plan ahead and always check travel arrangements. 

- For more information visit www.tfl.gov.uk and www.wimbledon.com

- Follow @MPSMerton to obtain up-to-date information throughout The Championships.

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June 28, 2016

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Pic courtsey of AELTC/David Levenson