Organisers in talks with cops as security stepped up for Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh after recent terror attacks
Security ramped up
Organisers of Scotland’s annual farming and countryside show are in constant talks with cops over security and policing of the event
SECURITY is being ramped up at the Royal Highland Show after recent terror attacks across the UK. Organisers of Scotland s annual farming and countryside show are in constant talks with cops over security and policing of the event.
This year s show will take place from today until Sunday at at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh and bosses have released a statement reassuring those planning to go. They say they are working closely with cops and are keeping their plans under constant review.
A statement from organisers said: We appreciate that recent events have brought public safety to the front of everyone s minds and we would like to reassure visitors that keeping people safe has always been, and continues to be, our number one priority.
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The security review follows last month s horror bombing at an Ariana Grande gig at the Manchester Arena. A total of 22 innocent victims lost their lives in the blast1 on May 22. Then on June 3, five people were killed and 50 injured when a terrorist drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge2 and then stabbed a police officer.
The Royal Highland Show statement added: The Show has a robust event management plan in place that has been created in collaboration with Police Scotland, our security contractor and other emergency services.
We are reviewing our plans on a regular basis in recognition of the changing external environment.
Any additional security measures likely to impact our guests will be communicated via our social media channels in the run up to the show.
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Festival goers are being asked to “be patient” as they contend with heightened security checks to get into Glastonbury. Extra car and bag searches mean getting on the site is likely to be a slow process for the thousands of ticket holders hoping to set up camp early. Avon and Somerset Police say there is “no intelligence” to suggest a specific threat to the festival. However, in the wake of the terror attacks in London and Manchester, increased security measures have been introduced. Assistant Chief Constable Caroline Peters says the policing style “may look and feel slightly different” but, like the rest of the UK, “festival-goers should be alert but not alarmed”.
Image: Rock am Ring in Germany was evacuated by police
High visibility officers are going to be present throughout the festival, mostly for reassurance. “Police officers, they’re going to be wearing black shirts, they’re going to be wearing protective vests and body cameras – but that’s no different to any day to day patrol,” she added. After the suicide attack on Manchester Arena, security at major music events has been a lot more visible. Armed police protected rockers at the Download Festival and the Isle of Wight. In Germany, thousands of people had to be evacuated from a rock festival when police received a credible terror threat. John Gearson, Professor of National Security Studies at King’s College, says police face a challenge; how best to deter copycats without making the public feel alarmed.
“The difficult question, I think, for the police and for the organisers is how far an armed police presence will be appropriate and needed to deter people who might want to carry out armed attacks. “We are going to control it and contain it, but in the current climate people have to accept that there is a greater risk, let’s say a residual danger, than there was in previous years.
Image: Manchester bomber Salman Abedi targeted people leaving an Ariana Grande concert
“People who think they’ve got nothing to do with politics will find they are the target of some of these terrible violent acts.” Festival goers have been asked to play their part in keeping Glastonbury safe and secure. Ticket-holders have been told to pack light, place luggage tags or ID on all bags and belongings including their name and mobile number. Queues getting into Glastonbury are nothing new . It is, after all, the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world.
This time last year, on the Wednesday before the festival, congestion on the roads caused traffic jams that some claimed lasted almost 11 hours. The reason then was simple: mud . Flash floods meant poor conditions for driving onto the site.
The Prime Minister has said security at mosques across Britain will be reviewed after a van was driven into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in the latest terror attack to hit Britain. Theresa May called the attack “every bit as sickening as those that have come before”. She chaired a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee at Downing Street and later visited Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, near the site of the attack, meeting with community and faith leaders. The Metropolitan Police said there will be more uniformed officers at places of worship, including mosques and Muslim community centres, as they try to reassure local people. Speaking outside Number 10, Mrs May said the terrorist attack1 “targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives”. “Today we come together as we have done before to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed,” she added. Mrs May said security was being stepped up.
“Extra police resources have already been deployed to reassure communities, and police will continue to assess the security needs of mosques and provide any additional resources needed,” she said.
The Government last summer announced a fund devoted to the security of places of worship, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said. “We have made available 2.5m,” she told Sky News. “I recently announced who would be getting those additional funds, which included 12 mosques, and actually I have reopened it recently to make sure that any additional place of worship that feels the need can apply for extra security.”
The attack happened shortly after midnight, when a man drove a van into a crowd of worshippers outside the mosque, injuring 10 people and leaving one dead. A 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and terror offences. It is the fourth terror attack since March in the country, and the third to involve a vehicle deliberately driven at pedestrians.
Image: The scene as Mrs May visited the mosque
It comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. For the Prime Minister, it comes at a difficult time, following her disastrous election gamble and the Grenfell Tower fire, in which dozens of people died. Hers and the Government’s response to the blaze was widely criticised for lacking empathy . Mrs May did not meet any survivors when she first visited the scene of the fire, and was heckled when she returned a day later. Mrs May is fighting for her survival2 amid rumours a leadership challenge might be imminent.
Image: Communities Secretary Sajid Javid says the Government will fight ‘anti-Muslim hate crime’
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid also visited the scene, and, outside the police cordon, comforted a woman who was visibly shaking. Mr Javid said: “I want to reassure both the local Muslim community, but also Muslims across the United Kingdom, that they will always have the full support of this government in fighting anti-Muslim hate crime.” Jeremy Corbyn, who lives near the site of the attack, expressed “absolute shock”.
After meeting with faith leaders at Finsbury Park Mosque, the Labour leader called the attack “an act of terror against a wholly innocent community who were coming out of prayers and walking home on the street next to where I live”.
“I am of course critical of cuts made to the police service, I make no criticism of the police behaviour or reaction last night.”