Police reveal plans to protect Pope
The Pope's visit to Britain will be met with an unprecedented police operation across the country, police chiefs have said.
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, who is co-ordinating the police operation, said no previous state visit had involved so many different sites around the country.
It was unusual for such dignitaries to "venture outside of London", he said. "It is different because this blend of civil event and religious event is something we have to look at."
Nobody wants "a giant security operation with a religious service bolted on the back", he said.
Pope Benedict is due to arrive next week on a four-day visit that will see him attend events in London, Scotland and the West Midlands.
While the policing cost of the visit is not known, Mr Hughes said it was estimated at being in the region of £1 million to £1.5 million. He added that while officers would look after the "safety and dignity" of the Pope, they would also protect those wishing to see him and any people protesting against his visit too.
"There is no intelligence to suggest any specific group will attack the Pope," he said, adding that the last few attacks on the pontiff were by Catholics.
Commander Bob Broadhurst, of the Metropolitan Police who will be responsible for protecting the Pope, warned people not to underestimate the "passion and the fervour" that the visit would bring.
"People get very passionate and very, very emotional," he said. "We may at times be protecting the protesters from the faithful if one or two people get hot under the collar."
The Pope's itinerary will include an evening prayer vigil in Hyde Park in London on Saturday September 18. The Protest the Pope campaign is expecting about 2,000 people to attend a march and rally in central London that day.