Boat Race: Royal Marines to help with security

Trenton Oldfield swam between the Boat Race crews in the Thames

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Security for this year's Boat Race has been stepped up, with the Royal Marines lending support.

It follows a protest last year when Trenton Oldfield, 36, jumped into the Thames, interrupting the 158th race between Oxford and Cambridge.

Oldfield, who said it was a protest against government cuts, was later jailed for causing a public nuisance.

The marines will be in inflatable boats and about 200 Met officers will patrol nine miles of the Thames on Sunday.

The Met Police said it had contacted Oldfield, of Whitechapel, east London, to establish if he was planning any action this year.

They contacted him by letter and on Twitter, saying they were "keen to facilitate any peaceful protest".

Cotswolds ramble

In a statement, the police stressed they were not offering to organise a protest but to afford him the opportunity to exercise his "lawful rights without causing disruption or danger to themselves or others".

However, Oldfield told The Spectator he would "probably have a ramble across the Cotswolds instead".

Oldfield was released on electronic tag in December after serving seven weeks of a six-month sentence. He was also ordered to pay £750 costs when he was sentenced in October.

Ch Insp Adrian Denby said there were more resources for this year's race, including extra stewards and the Met's marine unit, but the force had "no specific intelligence" that there was a protest planned.

But he added the Met had "adapted our tactics and approach" after what happened last year.

David Searle, executive director of The Boat Race Company, said: "We are taking additional measures this year and have reviewed all of our actions last year in detail.

"What I would say to anybody thinking of disrupting the race is that it's unbelievably dangerous.

"You risk injuring yourself, the crews and the other people following the race. Nobody wants that to happen. This is just a sporting event."

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