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Protester removal

You may find that protesters chaining and fixing themselves to your property, to make a statement against something – whether the arms trade or your line or business – enough of an embarrassment. But it could be that the protest disrupts routine business and costs money. One recent case saw a railway line in London blocked for several hours; the cost to the railways, thousands of pounds a minute. And you have to go about removing them in the proper way, as the UK Security Expo at London Olympia last week saw and heard from a demonstration by the British Transport Police (BTP) operational support unit.

Arms trade

They work on rapid entry, and cases of football disorder, and public protest, such as at the entrance tunnel to Heathrow Airport; and the Dsei defence trade show at Excel in London Docklands, a regular scene of protest (the September 2017 show led to 20 arrests). The demo showed BTP men and women using hydraulic, chemical and mechanical tools to remove ‘direct action’ protesters, safely. The scenario offered to the Expo was of a train operator given permission to build, which protesters sought to disrupt. Just outside a depot, a delivery lorry approached to start the building work. Four protesters (played by BTP people in blue overalls) were in the way. The photo shows the uniformed police at work on a box that encases a hand of each of a pair of protesters.

Police described their tactics, and the protesters’. More in the January 2018 print issue of Professional Security magazine.

Other demonstrations were by Border Force of a commercial vehicle search at a UK border control; and of work to make safe IEDs (improvised explosive devices). In the two scenarios, one was a UN convoy halted by insurgents who have planted IEDs under the road, and detonated by the second vehicle. A search came up with signs of a buried device in front of the lead vehicle. In the other, a police raid on a house found chemicals which could suggest homemade explosives. Police withdrew and set up a cordon. In each case an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team set about countering the threat.

UK Security Expo 2018 runs at the same venue on November 28 and 29. Visit


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