Royal wedding: Police arrest 55 around security zone

Police at Westminster Abbey Police created a "ring of steel" around the wedding

Scotland Yard has hailed the security operation surrounding the royal wedding as an "amazing success" despite 55 arrests around its security zone.

About half the arrests were for breach of the peace and a man was held for an alleged sex assault on a girl, aged 14.

Ten people carrying climbing gear and anti-monarchy placards were arrested near Charing Cross.

Other arrests were for drunk and disorderly, criminal damage, theft and over a suspected environmental protest.

Three people were held in the Covent Garden area over the alleged demonstration, police said.

Anti-terror powers were used to arrest one man who was seen taking suspicious photographs of transport hubs and security personnel in the Charing Cross area.

Three others were held over drug offences and four for allegedly carrying an offensive weapon.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens said the success of the overall policing operation showed that the force could handle security for next year's Olympic Games.

She said her 5,000 officers should be "immensely proud" of their role in the "happy and safe" event.

She admitted to pre-event "nerves" and defended the decision to carry out a string of pre-event raids as "entirely justified".

Police bans

An estimated one million people had gathered along the wedding route.

A police officer passes a flag to a member of the public Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens said she was proud of her officers

The police said that number was more than expected.

Officers questioned masked anti-monarchy protesters in Soho Square as a huge security operation took place around Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and The Mall.

Thousands of police officers created a "ring of steel" around the venues. Snipers took to rooftops and undercover officers mingled among the crowds

More than 90 people were banned from the area and up to 80 VIPs were granted personal protection.

Over the past few days police have arrested three people believed to be planning to behead effigies at the wedding.

They were detained by police in Brockley, south-east London, on Thursday night.

There were also several raids on squats across London, which drew criticism from one Labour backbencher.

John McDonnell accused police of "disproportionate" action, saying the raids appeared to be "some form of pre-emptive strike".

Elsewhere, anti-monarchy group Republic held a peaceful "not the royal wedding" street party in Red Lion Square, Holborn.

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