10:00AM, Friday 18 May 2018
‘Everyone is welcome’ is the message from Thames Valley Police as the force prepares for the Royal Wedding.
Saturday’s ceremony at St George’s Chapel is anticipated to be the biggest operation in the force’s history, with more than 100,000 people expected to flood into Windsor to celebrate the occasion.
The town’s struggles with homelessness has been the subject of much debate in the run-up to the event, with Royal Borough leader Simon Dudley calling on police to deal with ‘an epidemic of rough sleeping and vagrancy’ back in December.
But Superintendent Jim Weems, tactical commander for the Royal Wedding, said: “Everyone is welcome.
“This is a fantastic event, homeless or not homeless, whoever you are you’re welcome to come to this event.”
Thames Valley Police has received no intelligence to indicate a particular security threat for the Royal Wedding, Superintendent Weems added.
But he said that both ‘seen and unseen’ resources would be deployed across the town to protect the public.
“The public clearly will be conscious of the atrocities in the UK in the last 18 months as well as across Europe and worldwide,” the 48-year-old said.
“Therefore, they will expect us to deliver a police operation that is able to flex into any eventuality.”
The force will allow peaceful protests at the Royal Wedding, with Weems acknowledging the UK’s tradition of allowing people to have different opinions.
But he warned protestors looking to disrupt the event to expect a response from police.
He said: “We are happy to receive people who have a different opinion.
“Where that undermines the safety and security of the event or is disproportionately disruptive to members of the public who are looking to have a fantastic day you will expect us to police that.”
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