Police operation before Queen's funeral will be 'hugely complex'

London police will focus on managing crowds wanting to pay respects to queen, says senior Met officer

Police stand guard outside Buckingham Palace in London on Saturday. AFP
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Policing in London in the run-up to the queen’s funeral will be a “hugely complex operation”, a senior Metropolitan Police officer has said.

Hundreds of extra officers had been called in as thousands descended on the capital after the monarch’s death, deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Cundy said on Sunday.

A huge number of mourners are expected to queue for hours, including overnight, to pay their respects to the queen as she lies in state.

That is expected to start on Wednesday and officers are likely to be concerned with managing the crowds.

Leaders from around the globe will also travel to the UK for the state funeral on Monday, meaning security will be of greater concern.

“Our role is to ensure this is going to be a safe and a secure set of events," Mr Cundy said.

“Our policing operation is hugely complex, with a huge amount of detail within it, as you can well imagine.

“So we’re always mindful of all manner of different potential things that might occur.

"We know that not just the eyes of the United Kingdom but the world will be on London at this point in time.”

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Members of the public are being encouraged to engage with police and speak to them if they have any concerns.

“This is a point in time for everybody to remember Her late Majesty the Queen, to pay respects, and I think also to celebrate the long life of public service which she demonstrated," Mr Cundy said.

“As a police officer, we swear a solemn oath and it’s a real privilege to be serving His Majesty the King.

"The Met is well prepared and people will already have seen significant policing presence of my colleagues here in London, and that will continue to build over the coming days.

“We’re working closely with other police forces here in London, and many other partners and other agencies that are involved in the many events that will take place from now leading up to the state funeral on Monday.”

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Mr Cundy said the force was prepared for the visit by world leaders for the funeral.

“Part of our policing operation, and we have much experience with this here in the Met Police, is to protect key individuals that may be coming at different points in time, but particularly to the state funeral on Monday," he said.

"Undoubtedly that will be many people, many significant individuals from across the world.

"But we have excellent protection officers that will be working with other colleagues to ensure that there’s a safe and secure environment for people to come and pay their respects and to remember that life and public service of Her late Majesty the Queen."

Updated: September 12, 2022, 4:41 AM