SECURITY at Wimbledon has been beefed up with anti-terror barriers and huge concrete blocks to prevent a repeat of the Westminster and London Bridge Muslim terror attacks.
Express A ring of steel has been erected around London’s SW19 area ahead of the sporting showcases. Armed police and sniffer dogs will be deployed at the two-week tennis tournament, expected to draw close to 500,000 fans.
It comes after two Islamic terror attacks hit London this year, with Islamic terrorists using a car and a van to mow down people before they launched stabbing attacks.
Superintendent Jo Edwards, head of the security operation, said: “We take into account the threat level in UK and we take into account the atrocities that have taken place in the UK since March.
“The public will see a significant number of police officers and security staff visible in plain clothes or in uniform at different times of the day and night across the fortnight. “That is designed to be really reassuring to visitors to the club.”
Concrete barriers and robust metal gates were installed this week to stop vehicles from ploughing into fans queuing for tickets.
Armed police gave also been pictured making their way through crowds in Henley-on-Thames ahead of the Henley Royal Regatta
Although security barriers have been used before, Supt Edwards said members of the public would see more this year.
She added: “They are there to protect the public as they make their way to and from the Championships.” Supt Edwards said there was no specific intelligence to suggest an attack was pre-planned.
Wimbledon has also published security advice on its website, saying there will be a “proportional uplift in measures” at this year’s Championships.
The “enhanced measures” include the use of sniffer dogs, CCTV, and thoroughly searching people, their bags and vehicles before entering the grounds.
As well as the usual knives and sharp objects, the tennis club has banned visitors from entering with selfie sticks, flasks, or any “objects or clothing bearing political statements”.
Scotland Yard, which will be supporting Wimbledon staff with their security plans, also warned against touts who may be selling unauthorized tickets, and pickpockets who thrive in crowded areas.