Policing plan in place for London Marathon

Police are reminding the public to remain vigilant and keep their possessions safe as hundreds of thousands of spectators prepare to attend the London Marathon on Sunday, 22 April in support of the thousands of runners taking part.

The annual event takes place in the centre of the capital and the Metropolitan Police Service has been working closely with British Transport Police, City of London Police and the Virgin Money London Marathon to ensure those taking part and those spectating have a fun and safe experience.

A number of road closures will be in place in central London from 06:00 hrs and those attending are urged to plan their journeys in advance due to a possible DLR strike. Please check the relevant websites to figure out the best and safest route to take.

Commander Simon Bray, who is leading the policing operation for London Marathon said: “The Marathon is a fantastic event and year on year it embodies everything that’s great about London.

“Our priority is to ensure everyone taking part and all spectators have a safe and enjoyable experience. I’d like to reassure the public that we have been working hard with the organisers and event security team to ensure there is an appropriate policing plan in place.

“There will be a mixture of overt and covert officers deployed along the entire route and at transport hubs across London. You can expect to see police dogs, armed officers and vehicle barriers being utilised throughout the event.

“While there is no specific threat to this event, we ask people to remain vigilant, and if you notice anything suspicious then please approach an officer or call 999.”

Police are issuing some basic tips and advice to the public to ensure that there are no easy pickings for potential thieves or criminals.

Top tips to avoid pickpockets and thieves:

+ Keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times, carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest.
+ Return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it.
+ Use a purse that’s difficult to open. One that zips or snaps shut is best, and keep it closed.
+ Conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge.
+ Keep a list, separate from your wallet and phone, of contact numbers of family in case your phone is stolen.
+ Don’t hang bags on the back of a chair.
+ Don’t leave anything on the back of a pushchair.
+ Don’t place your belongings out of sight on the floor.
+ Using hands free devices can prevent a thief from snatching your mobile phone