Join Date: Sep 2004
Article: Security Tight at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England (June 26) - The terrorist attacks on London's transport system last July that killed 56 people have resulted in increased security at Wimbledon, including bomb sweeps of vehicles entering the area and background checks on event staff.
"The possibility of suicide bomb attacks was always there, but we have now seen it as a reality, so it is common sense," London police Chief Superintendent Michael Wood said Monday of the increased measures.
As Wood spoke, police nearby used mirrors on long poles to check underneath vehicles for bombs. The cars were forced to detour from local streets to be checked on a golf course across the road from the All England Club.
Wood said police are working closely with the club to perform security checks on the hundreds of extra staff the club takes on during the two-week-long event.
"We've instituted new vetting procedures for people applying to be part of the increased work force, trying to enhance the security from that area," Wood said.
"We have to take into account the events of last year, and that the event takes place against the heightened level of threat in relation to the possibility of a terrorist incident."
The first anniversary of the bombing falls during Wimbledon - the second Friday, July 7.
"Clearly we are conscious of the fact that it is the anniversary, but the intelligence available to us at this time would not indicate any incident more likely on that day than any other day," Wood said. "However, we are prepared to cater for the possibility of an incident on that day."
The increased measures are similar to those put in place at the U.S. Open after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.