Wednesday 24 January 2018

Trespasser arrested after climbing wall into Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, Stock picture
Buckingham Palace, Stock picture

Martin Evans

A man has been arrested in the grounds of Buckingham Palace after climbing over a perimeter wall.

The 41-year-old was detained by police at 8.37pm on Wednesday evening after triggering an alarm within the grounds.

The Queen and Prince Philip were in residence at the Palace at the time and were informed of the incident on Thursday morning.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the trespasser was arrested seven minutes after the perimeter alarm was sounded and was not armed.

Officers who detailed the man did not deploy their Tasers, according to the Metropolitan Police spokesman.

Her was arrested on suspicion of trespassing on a protected site and remains in custody.

Commander Adrian Usher, head of the Met's Royalty and Specialist Protection, said: "I am content that our security measures worked effectively on this occasion and at no time was any individual at risk."

In September 2013 a major security review at the Palace was launched after a trespasser climbed over the wall and made it into one of the State Rooms.

Just a month later a man was arrested as she tried to enter Buckingham Palace through the main north gate, carrying a knife.

David Belmar, who admitted to having a fixation with the Queen, later pleaded guilty to trespass and possession of a bladed weapon.

Royal security came in for even greater security when it emerged that the Duke of York had been challenged by armed officers in Buckingham Palace gardens while having an evening stroll.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard refused to discuss where on the perimeter wall the latest breach had taken place, or where in the grounds of the Palace the man was detained.

While the Met insist the latest incident shows their security measures are working, there may be questions over why it took seven minutes to apprehend the intruder after the alarm was first triggered.

But Dai Davies, the former head of the Met's royal protection branch said he felt the incident showed the security systems were working well.

He said: "It would appear from what we know that things have worked well in this case and the police have responded quickly and effectively. The Buckingham Palace gardens are large at around 37 acres, so to locate and apprehend the intruder within seven minutes is very good.

"I am jolly pleased that in this case the security system as been found to be very effective. The police get stick when they get it wrong but in this instance they should be praised for acting quickly and effectively."

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