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Knife arrest in Royal wedding crowd

18 crowd members were arrested today as 5,000 police officers created a ring of steel around the royal wedding.

The suspects are being questioned for a variety of offences, including breach of the peace, handling stolen goods, assault and possessing an offensive weapon, thought to be a knife.

An abandoned car found in Westminster was inspected and cleared by specialist officers before the ceremony got under way.



The arrests were made "within and outside the event footprint", Scotland Yard said.



More than 90 people were banned from the City of Westminster under bail conditions as part of pre-emptive efforts during the biggest police security operation in a generation.

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Crowds along the streets surrounding the abbey were separated from the road along which the royal couple will travel by two sets of barriers several feet apart.



Officers stood at regular intervals along the route, many enjoying jokes with the well-wishers.



Westminster Tube station was closed to prevent overcrowding, Transport for London said.



A total of 24 people suspected of planning disruption were arrested yesterday.



It emerged today that known anarchist Charlie Veitch is being held by officers in Cambridgeshire, suspected of planning a rally in Soho Square.



He was arrested by Scotland Yard officers last night after posting on the internet that he was plotting disruption.



A Scotland Yard spokesman said he remained in custody after being questioned on suspicion of "conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and breach of the peace".



Another 20 suspected anarchists were banned from getting near the wedding as they were bailed after being arrested as part of a string of raids on squats across London yesterday.



Three protesters thought to have been planning to behead effigies remained in custody.



With the attention of the world fixed on London, officers took to the streets with strict orders to deal "robustly, quickly and firmly" with any threats.



Hundreds of thousands of visitors were asked to be the police's "eyes and ears" to help keep troublemakers at bay.



Snipers took to rooftops and undercover officers mingled among the crowds as part of the massive covert and overt operation to avoid an atrocity.



Security against potential threats from al Qaida-inspired extremists, dissident Irish republican terrorists, anarchists and even lone stalkers was being balanced with the desire to let onlookers enjoy the day of pageantry.



Up to 80 VIPs were granted personal protection but there was no intelligence to prompt police to use anti-terror powers to search crowd members as hundreds of thousands arrived in London for the event.

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