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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs