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Met chief warns on Jubilee protests

The head of the Metropolitan Police has warned he could not guarantee there would be no security embarrassments during this summer's London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Bernard Hogan-Howe said Scotland Yard was reviewing its arrangements for the Diamond Jubilee river pageant in June to ensure there is no repeat of the kind of protest that disrupted the Boat Race earlier this month.

"The only thing we've said both to ministers and I'll repeat here is, there is a limit when you have Olympic events and Jubilee events in public space as to what you can achieve, whether it be the marathon... and the river event, there are some limits," he told MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee.

"But we've still gone back and had a look and we believe we are in a position to make sure that the Queen and other significant people who are within that pageant are kept safe. There are various pragmatic things we are looking at to ensure that doesn't happen again."

A lone protester forced the Boat Race to be halted for half an hour after swimming into the path of the Oxford and Cambridge crews. Trenton Oldfield, 35, has been charged with a Section Five offence under the Public Order Act.

Mr Hogan-Howe said the Met was reviewing its security arrangements for the triathlon, in particular, which starts in Hyde Park's Serpentine lake. Police were working to ensure that they "improve what we've already got in place".

But he added: "I have to sit here and tell you I can't guarantee that when we have large events in public spaces we can guarantee that there will not be an embarrassment about some level of protest. Our main issue is to make sure people are kept safe."

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