King's coronation: Thames Valley Police say there will be 'lower tolerance level' for disruptive protests
Thames Valley Police have followed the Met Police's warning that disruptive demonstration will be cracked down on during King Charles' coronation
The police force covers the historically royal town of Windsor, which is due to play host to a range of celebration events such as a watch-along on the grounds of the castle on Saturday 6 May and a 20,000 capacity concert the following day.
Assistant Chief Constable Christian Bunt said that Thames Valley were preparing to deploy 1,000 officers to facilitate the coronation festivities. However, he warned that there would be a firm crackdown on any disruptive protests in the town.
Mr Bunt said: “We’ve not had any protest groups or individuals show an interest in protesting in Windsor up to now. But I am alive to the fact that we could get protests in Windsor over the weekend.
“My policing operation has planned for this. We will be consistent and fair in our response as we always are, and we have got lots of experience in Thames Valley Police with facilitating protests.
“Thames Valley Police respects the rights of those wanting to protest peacefully and legally, and we are experienced in doing so. Our response will be lawful and proportionate.”
It comes as the Metropolitan Police in London took a similar stance, with officers confirming that the force was considering using facial technology on crowd to identify potential protesters. Mr Bunt said that Thames Valley Police were not looking at similar measures, adding the force was “not yet in a position to use it".
Technology including drones and specialist teams such as mounted, firearms and intelligence officers are among those set to be deployed. The majority of officers are set to be deployed for the Sunday concert.
Mr Bunt urged protesters planning to demonstrate during celebration to liaise with officers ahead of the planned protests. He said: “I would encourage any individuals or groups who are looking to protest in Windsor over the weekend to make contact with us at the earliest opportunity.
“We will have a range of specialist officers in place to support our response to protest. Due to the nature of this event, I will be adopting a lower tolerance level for any disruption, protest or otherwise.
“This includes action that undermines the safety of the event or poses a serious risk of disruption to the celebrations.”