Met Police: 67 arrests made while policing Queen’s funeral

More than 3,000 officers from almost every force in the country helped police in London.

Met Police officers made 67 arrests while policing Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, amid the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen.

The day of Her Majesty’s (Monday, September 19) funeral marked the climax of what is being regarded as the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen.

Huge crowds, royalty and a long list of world leaders and other dignitaries all needed to be kept safe as part of the mammoth job facing thousands of police officers.

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Cundy said nothing compared to the “hugely complex” task he called the “largest policing operation” in the Met’s history.

An officer of the London Metropolitan Police closes a gate at the Palace of Westminster. Photo: Getty

While ex-counter terror police chief Nick Aldworth said it was “probably the biggest operation that we’re likely to mount in the UK”.

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As of 5pm on Sept 19, 67 arrests had been made for a range of offences, the Met said.

More than 3,000 officers from almost every force in the country helped police in London.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who only took over the role a week ago, likened the possible total number deployed to the size of West Midlands or Greater Manchester police.

Armed police, motorbike escort riders, officers carrying out patrols on horseback, dog teams and the marine unit were among the specialist teams involved.

Rooftop snipers were in place while the cortege was moving, accompanied by a helicopter escort anywhere outside of the capital, Mr Aldworth said.

Met Police officers are seen walking in formation down The Mall. Photo: Getty

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There were over 22 miles of barriers in central London to control crowds and secure key areas, and around 2,300 officers oversaw the Queen’s final journey to Windsor Castle.

About a thousand lined the route, alongside military personnel, from the Abbey to Wellington Arch while the Queen’s coffin was carried from the service by gun carriage.

It comes at a time when the country’s terrorism threat level stands at “substantial”, meaning an attack is “likely”.

Police and security services were alert to the prospect of knife attacks, bombs being detonated, and all other possible terror threats or incidents.

So-called lone actor terrorism, particularly knife attacks, are now considered the main threat.

Mounted Metropolitan Police take part during the procession ahead of the state funeral. Photo: Getty

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But police guarding the King and senior members of the royal family also have to consider the risks posed by people who are fixated with those in the public eye.

The public were urged to report suspicious behaviour, with experts describing potential terrorists as people who seem “blatantly out of place” and uninterested in ceremonial events.

The risk of a threat is “fairly high” particularly when Charles comes into contact with crowds, according to a royal security expert.

Richard Aitch, from Mobius International, said it was “very difficult” for personal protection officers when the monarch is so close to a “group of unknowns” like crowds.

Security staff would be carrying out a split second process of “personal vetting” to root out suspicious activity.

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There was also a considerable police presence in Windsor ahead of the Queen’s committal.

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable Tim De Meyer said more than 2,000 officers would be deployed there in the force’s “largest and most significant” operation.

In the Berkshire town, drones were used to monitor crowds, vehicle barriers were in place and there were “airport-style” security checks like screening arches and bag searches.