Prince Harry to attend London Marathon despite security fears

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:47

London: Britain`s Prince Harry will attend the London Marathon on Sunday as planned despite security fears in wake of the blasts at the Boston race in the US.

His office, St James` Palace, confirmed that the third-in-line to the British throne will be attending the marathon to make presentations to the winners in his capacity as patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

"He will be making presentations to winners of the mini marathon, the elite men and women and the wheelchair IPC Athletic Marathon World Cup races," a palace spokesperson said.

Scotland Yard is reviewing security procedures but officers already on high alert for the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher here tomorrow, have stressed that there is no credible threat to the London Marathon.

"A security plan is in place. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon," Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry, in charge of policing the London Marathon, said.

"The bombings in Boston are shocking, cowardly and horrific. We do have robust security measures in place, but given events in Boston, its only prudent for the police and the organisers of Sunday`s race to re-examine those security arrangements," added London mayor Boris Johnson.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the news from Boston. Our security plan is developed jointly with the Metropolitan police and we were in contact with them as soon as we heard the news," added Nick Bitel, chief executive of London Marathon, which will include 37,500 competitors.

An estimated 500,000 spectators will line the streets to watch Sunday`s competitors run 26.2 miles from Blackheath, in the south-east of the capital, to the Mall in central London.

UK sports minister Hugh Robertson stressed that he was confident that the event will pass peacefully.

"This is one of those instances where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue," he told the BBC.

At least three people were killed and more than 100 injured by the blasts near the finish line of yesterday`s marathon in Boston, with 26,000 participants and thousands of spectators.

UK Home secretary Theresa May has been briefed fully about the Boston explosions and held a meeting with MI5 director-general Jonathan Evans and the Met`s assistant commissioner for specialist operations, Cressida Dick.
The current threat level to the UK from international terrorism, set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), remains substantial.
"The scenes from Boston are shocking and horrific my thoughts are with all those who have been affected," said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:47

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