Former police watchdog says the Coronation is an 'opportunity' for the Met to 'reconnect' with the public

6 May 2023, 12:47 | Updated: 6 May 2023, 15:48

Guest: coronation is 'opportunity' for MET to 'reconnect' with public

By Georgina Greer

Former Inspector of Constabulary for Her Majesty, Zoe Billingham, said that the "aspiration" of the Met police on coronation day is to "reconnect" with the public.

Speaking to Andrew Castle former police watchdog Zoe Bellingham discussed the role of the Met police on coronation day.

She began: "The Met's job is to keep us safe and to keep the King's peace so they'll be using a whole range of tactics."

She noted the physical presence of the police force and relayed her conversation with a chief officer playing a part in "lining the route", describing a sense of excitement in the police force.

READ MORE: Charles's day of destiny: London streets packed with royal well-wishers ahead of historic Coronation procession

Ms Bellingham continued: "They have this aspiration the briefing is, this is the opportunity for the Met to reconnect with the public."

"By the end of the day, the officers need to be on first-name terms with the portion of the crowd that they're looking after."

However, she went on: "Of course, there is a kind of serious, I think if there was any sort of attempt or threat there's behind the scenes officers who are going to be keeping us safe."

She concluded by recognizing that the rumoured methods of facial recognition to monitor the crowds are "contentious" but that she was not sure of "the extent" it is being used.

READ MORE: Republican protesters and Just Stop Oil activists arrested ahead of King's Coronation

The conversation comes as the coronation prompts the biggest security operation in British history.

Around nine thousand Met police officers are involved in operations on coronation day with around eleven and half thousand officers overall.

Several protestors from both Republican groups and Just Stop Oil were arrested on Saturday morning ahead of the coronation ceremony.