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Dsei security not fit for purpose

Val | 14.09.2007 09:30 | DSEi 2007 | Anti-militarism | Globalisation | Terror War

As the Dsei arms fair comes to a close, questions will surely be being asked as to why their very expensive security operation allowed a bunch of protesters to get within yards of the Excel centre's east entrance and loading bays.

The early morning move appeared to take police and security by surprise. Activists breached two gated and manned security cordons at the East entrance to the Excel site just before eight o'clock as delegates and staff were arriving. The gates were opened to allow access to traffic, and the activists were able to simply run past the security guards.

Police had to rugby tackle protesters to the ground to prevent them reaching the East entrance and the loading bays to the rear of the building. One of the police present was heard to comment, "What happened to the security? They were crap!"

In fact the grey-suited and rather rotund figure who seemed to be in charge of security at the two gates panicked when he saw around 16 black clad figures heading towards him. He started screaming to the guards, "stop them, stop them, don't let them through!", and in his haste to get to the second inner cordon, fell flat on his arse, his clipboard and papers flying around him.

As it was, only the intervention of four vans of TSG doing hand-break turns across the car park prevented the activists reaching the Excel building. Which is not so good for a location which was supposed to be on heightened 'terrorist' alert.

In addition delegates had to 'run the gauntlet' of protesters hurling abuse as they were held there by police awaiting prisoner transport for about 40 minutes. And all that time delegates cars who could not get access to the car park backed up in a queue that stretched for about half a mile. Heads will roll for this one.

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