Wales

Security stepped up at Wales' music and sporting events

Security was tight in Cardiff city centre Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police were given additional stop and search powers during the Champions League finals

Security arrangements have been stepped up at music and sporting events across Wales in response to recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

There was a major security operation in Cardiff for the Champions League final on Saturday, with 2,000 police officers deployed across the city.

Organisers of forthcoming events said they are reviewing their security procedures.

Some are asking visitors not to bring bags and to expect to be searched.

The UK has been subjected to three terror attacks in as many months, and the current threat level for international terrorism is severe, which means an attack is highly likely.

There are dozens of major events taking place in Wales over the next few weeks, including Robbie Williams, Justin Bieber and Coldplay concerts at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, with tens of thousands of people due to attend.

A stadium spokeswoman confirmed there would be a meeting with South Wales Police on Wednesday to discuss security arrangements.

Enhanced security checks are in place upon entry to the stadium, and only small handbags will be allowed inside.

A statement from the stadium said: "Due to the current unprecedented security situation, it's better for everyone if you do not bring a bag at all.

"Each and every threat is assessed by South Wales Police and appropriate police resources are put in place around the stadium and city centre."

Sniffer dogs are also used to assist searches, along with CCTV and road closure plans.

Image caption ACC Lewis said the force's priority was to "maintain a visible presence" in communities

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said there were a number of "key music and sporting events in the coming weeks which will attract large crowds".

"We will continue to work with organisers and review our response to these events depending on the intelligence and information which we receive," he said.

"People going to these events will see both unarmed and overtly armed officers on patrol and we will also being using tactics which are not obvious to the public, but are designed to keep them safe."

Image caption Almost 237,000 people visited the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd last year

The annual Royal Welsh Show takes place in Llanelwedd, Powys, from 24-27 July.

Steve Hughson, a former chief superintendent with Dyfed-Powys Police, is the chief executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, which organises the show.

He said they meet regularly with the local Counter Terrorism Security Advisors, the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit and Dyfed-Powys Police "to continually assess the threat levels".

Mr Hughson said while there is no specific intelligence that suggests the show is likely to be a target, they continue to work with their partners to make sure they have access to an "effective response".

'Vigorous checks'

St David's Hall in Cardiff is due to host BBC Cardiff Singer of the World from 11-18 June and Cardiff council said it was working closely with the BBC to ensure "appropriate security is in place".

A council spokesman said advice had been taken from the relevant authorities and the full programme of shows at St David's Hall and New Theatre would continue as planned.

He said both venues would tighten procedures, including having "vigorous" checks upon entry. Visitors were being asked not to bring bags and to allow more time to accommodate the searches.

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod takes place from 3-9 July in Denbighshire and organisers were "in consultation" with the police over whether additional security measures were needed.

The festival's chief operations officer Sian Eagar said: "To assist with security arrangements this year, visitors should be prepared to have their bags searched and avoid bringing unessential items, such as camping chairs."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Swalec Stadium in Cardiff

The Swalec Stadium in Cardiff is hosting four Champions Trophy cricket matches in June, with the match between England and New Zealand taking place on Tuesday.

A statement released by the International Cricket Council following the most recent attack in London said the "enhanced security around venues" remains in place.

"The security situation has been very much front and centre of our preparations," it added, and procedures are constantly reviewed "to guarantee they are as effective as possible to keep everyone safe".

People taking part in the Swansea half marathon on 25 June have been contacted by the race director David Martin-Jewell, who said they too have reviewed and increased their safety procedures.

Runners are advised not to bring a bag unless they have to, and that any bags will be inspected before being accepted into the tent.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff has a capacity of 7,500

The Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff is due to host some big names in coming weeks and Live Nation has posted a security statement on its website with advice for visitors.

"All arrangements are in continuous consultation and review with local authorities and the police," it said.

It added there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes, including new security measures, and asked people to be patient "if things take a little longer that they're used to".

Visitors are asked to plan ahead, travel as lightly as possible and if they "really need to bring a bag, make sure it's small".

Swansea council, organiser of the Wales National Airshow in Swansea Bay on 1-2 July, said "safety will always be of paramount importance".

A council spokesman said: "As with all major events, the airshow is reviewed on a regular basis. We will continue to work with our partner to ensure security at the event is appropriate."

Image caption Armed police at the recent Urdd National Eisteddfod in Bridgend county

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