Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
September 15, 2022


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Counter terror

Vigilance reminder as London gears up for “massive security operation” ahead of funeral for The Queen

A security response on an “unprecedented scale” is underway as London prepares for the state funeral of The Queen.

As heads of state from across the world – including the likes of the US President and Japanese Emperor – are set to assemble to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II, security services will be on high alert in the days building up to Monday 19 September.

A queue stretching almost five miles long is currently underway as hundreds of thousands of mourners pay their respects to the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state in Westminster Hall. The funeral will take place in the morning of 19 September at Westminster Abbey, with the procession from the Palace of Westminster to the Abbey beginning at 10:44 AM.


A portion of the queue on London’s Southbank on Wednesday 14 September to pay respects to The Queen

A combination of security service personnel are already on high alert for potential threats, with particular warning over lone actors, terrorism, and anti-monarchy protests.

Counter Terrorism Policing has also put out a statement promoting vigilance to the private security industry and organisations – particularly in London, transport hubs, royal sites and large towns and cities.

Police are the first line of defence against the terrorist threat, while the Government has hired hundreds of stewards from private security firms to support in queue management, as well as deploying 1,500 military personnel. Armed police officers are also visible on rooftops surrounding Westminster.

Speaking to The Guardian, Bob Broadhurst, who served as Gold Commander for the London 2012 Olympics, explained that authorities are expected to be faced with challenges ranging from terror threats to protests and crowd collapses. As many as 10,000 officers will be assigned to the operation each day, he estimated, with personnel expected to support from across the country.

At the police control room just south of Lambeth Bridge, officers are monitoring footage from hundreds of CCTV cameras, while additional mobile cameras and trained dog units have been placed at specific points in the crowds.

The security services at MI5 and GCHQ are also actively monitoring any changes of behaviour by “subjects of interest” and all forms of telecommunication.

Heads of State will be arriving from Friday, and the surrounding area will require trained staff to physically check any areas around the Abbey – from manhole covers to lampposts. Arrangements for foreign leaders will vary, but there is little doubt that the coming days are a significant operation for the security services, police and private officers on duty throughout the country.

Advice from Counter Terror Policing

Counter Terrorism Policing has provided some advice on the Protect UK website, reminding organisations to promote vigilance messaging. Advice includes:

  • Promoting specific security measures as part of the communications for events, vigils and memorials being hosted
  • Amplify Counter Terrorism Policing vigilance social media messaging
  • Ensure staff have completed the ACT e-learning packaging – online training available on the Protect UK website designed to increase security awareness
  • Encourage staff, customers and visitors to remain vigilant


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