News / Europe

London Reviews Security Plans After Boston Bombing

A road closure sign is seen placed along The Mall, the location for the London Marathon finish line, in central London April 16, 2013.
A road closure sign is seen placed along The Mall, the location for the London Marathon finish line, in central London April 16, 2013.
Al Pessin
Following the Boston Marathon bombings, British officials are reviewing security plans for the London Marathon on Sunday, and also for Wednesday’s funeral for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

The Boston bombings occurred just two days before the Thatcher funeral, with dozens of foreign leaders on their way to attend the event.  There are plans for a funeral procession through the center of London and a service for more than 2,000 people at St. Paul’s Cathedral, including Queen Elizabeth and her husband and most members of the British government and parliament.

British security consultant David Rubens is not directly involved in the planning, but he knows what top security officials are going through.

“First of all, you really go back and check your intelligence, whether there are any indicators through, for example, communications that there are unknown activists who are identified as potential threats to your operation," Rubens explained. "It is always intelligence-based in the modern world.”

Related video report by Selah Hennessy:

London Police Review Marathon Security After Boston Attacki
X
April 16, 2013 9:33 PM
Security preparations for Sunday's London Marathon are being reviewed after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, London’s Metropolitan Police said Tuesday. As Selah Hennessy reports from London, the race is due to go ahead.


Thatcher’s death has renewed old but still emotional debates about her time in office in the 1980s, including street protests by groups celebrating her death last week at age 87.

There was a robust security plan for her funeral even before the Boston bombings.  And Rubens said there is not much more that can be done in terms of physical security. 

“I think really what you do is you increase awareness, rather than any specific security activities," he said.  "So it does come down to, I think, human profiling by trained and professional people on the ground, who have got the eyes to potentially detect non-normal behavior, which will indicate a potential attack.”

On Sunday, London hosts its own marathon, another major event on the annual athletics calendar.  Race Director Rick Bitel said the race will go on.

“We are continuing to review security with the Metropolitan Police in the coming days," Bitel said. "The London Marathon, in common with most sports events in the world, have got fairly detailed contingency plans, which one hopes could deal with anything that would occur.  But, when something of this nature does happen, you obviously want to review them and see whether changes need to be made.”

London security officials got a lot of experience in dealing with large-scale events during last summer’s Olympics, which were widely hailed as a security and sporting success.  David Rubens said they understand the balance that must be struck at such events.

“It is very difficult because you always have this balance to be made, the balance between security and safety on one side and open freedom and public access on the other," Rubens said.  "And, that is a decision that is made both at a political and a security policing level.”

Rubens also noted that many senior British police officers also experienced the 20 years of bombings by the Irish Republican Army from the 1970s into the 1990s.  He said that should help them determine the appropriate level of security for this week’s events.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Bernard H from: UK
April 17, 2013 9:53 AM
Sebastian, very true observation. I have lived in London for 54 years, and I am ashamed to see it turned into an Islamic enclave of Arabs and Pakistanis... . It used to be such a lovely City. But so have degenerated almost all of Europe... look at Paris... Amsterdam... we have tried to be good tolerant hosts - "open minded" we used to call ourselves... and now we live in fear in our own homes. Our Children are being prostituted for Islam... I just hope Canada and the US can save themselves from this revolting Islamic incursion... "multiculturalism" is a very sinister euphemism for Islamisation...

by: Sebastian from: Canada
April 16, 2013 10:45 AM
London... you could have called it Cairo and got the same idea of stench!! have you been to London lately..?? you would think you are in Islamabad... yeah, keep the "multiculturalism" in Europe!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs