Security beefed up at Wimbledon

2015-06-29 14:18

London - Security has been stepped up in line with the British national terror threat level at this year's Wimbledon tennis championships, which got under way on Monday.

Tennis fans were subjected to the usual bag checks at the entrances to the All England Club in southwest London, where police officers were visible around the perimeter and inside the grounds.

British security forces are on alert following Friday's gun massacre on a Tunisian beach, which was the worst loss of British life in a terror attack since the July 2005 suicide bombings on London's transport system.

Britain's national terror threat level was raised in August 2014 to severe, the second-highest of five levels, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

"The Wimbledon Tennis Championships are a regular feature in our calendar and one of the great British sporting events," said Chief Superintendent Stuart Macleod, the local police borough commander in southwest London.

"We have reflected on previous operational plans and amended these where necessary to ensure we deliver a safe and secure Championships for 2015.

"This year's event will be policed to a level proportionate with the current threat level."

Police said that extra officers would be on duty patrolling the area, while road closures and a "highly mobile reserve that can respond to emerging incidents" were also in place.

"Staff from the All England Club, security and police officers will be visible throughout the grounds and anyone who sees anything suspicious should approach us with their concerns," said Macleod.

"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."

One thing visitors are not allowed to bring through the security checks this year are selfie sticks, which the All England Club took the decision to ban in April.

The devices, which extend the reach of a user taking self-portrait photos with a smartphone or camera, have been banned from a number of sporting venues because they obstruct the view of other spectators.

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  tennis

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