London Marathon Set to Go-Ahead as Security Measures Reviewed after Boston Tragedy

April 16, 2013

London Marathon organisers will review the security measures for the showpiece following the horrific events at the Boston Marathon.

At least three people were killed and more than 100 injured by the blasts near the finish line of Monday’s US event, according to reports.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said he was “absolutely confident” the London Marathon could be kept safe.

The Met Police’s Ch Supt Julia Pendry, the commander in charge of policing the London Marathon, said of Sunday’s event: “A security plan is in place. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon.”

London had “enormous experience” of delivering major events and the UK had some of the best security professionals in the world, he told the BBC.

“This is one of those instances where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue,” he added.

Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry, the event commander for the London marathon, said they would review security for the event, which draws spectators from all over the world.

She said: “A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon.”

London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened and shocked by the news from Boston.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the people there and their families. It is a very sad day for athletics and for our friends and colleagues in marathon running.”

Mr Bitel later told the BBC that he “fully expected” the London Marathon, which first took place in 1981 and was completed by more than 37,000 people last year, to go ahead.

He said: “The London Marathon has detailed security plans which are developed in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police.

“They take account of many contingencies, including this type of threat and incident, but one can’t be complacent and when it has happened, you need to then review those plans you have in place to see what else may be necessary.

“That is certainly what we are going to be doing in the forthcoming hours and days.”

The Edinburgh Marathon is also set to review its security measures following the Boston bombings.

Marathon organisers and police have been liaising ahead of the event in light of the incident in Massachusetts yesterday.

A Police Scotland source said: “An event like this will see intelligence re-sifted and security arrangements looked at with completely fresh eyes. There’s literally no way the Edinburgh event could take place without it being looked at coloured by the awful scenes we’ve seen coming out of Boston. If I was in charge I would have a security briefing immediately to establish if there are any areas of weakness, if there is anything that needs to be addressed.

“Our event is one of the best run in the world in terms of security and the actual arranging that goes into it. But until yesterday the same could be said of the Boston Marathon. This event has put a completely new complexion on things.”

Neil Kilgour, director of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, said: “We are shocked by the events we’ve seen unfold in Boston and our thoughts are with the injured and their families.

“Runners’ safety is our primary concern. We work very closely with the police and emergency services and follow their advice.”

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