Police communication breakdown put royal couple in danger

Saturday, December 11, 2010

LONDON - It has emerged that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were engulfed by a violent mob due to communication failure of the police.

Scotland Yard confirmed that officers guarding the royal couple were using radios on a different channel from those patrolling Thursday’s student riots, meaning they received no warning that protesters were blocking their route.

It meant they had no direct contact with officers who could have warned them that Regent Street was filling with hundreds of angry protesters.

The Duchess was jabbed in the ribs with a stick through an open car window as the couple were being driven to the Royal Variety Performance.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, praised armed protection officers for showing “very real restraint”, suggesting that they came close to drawing their guns on protesters, who were heard to chant “off with their heads”.

David Cameron described the attack as “very regrettable” and said those involved in the violence should face “the full force of the law”, reports the Telegraph.

Scotland Yard announced a major criminal investigation to track down those behind violence in demonstrations against university tuition fees since Nov 10.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said he would be asking searching questions about why the police failed to spot the danger before the royal car became trapped by rioters.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will make a statement on the riot to the Commons on Monday, when Sir Paul is expected to face further criticism.

The Prince’s spokesman said he and the Duchess “totally understand the difficulties” faced by the police and were “always very grateful to the police for the job they do in often very challenging circumstances”.

A Home office spokesman said: “We will await the Metropolitan Police review and then take a view whether a further investigation is required.” (ANI)

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