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Palace intrusion renews concerns over UK royal security
www.chinaview.cn 2004-09-14 06:29:01

    LONDON, Sept. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Britain's royal security went into spotlight once again on Monday after an father rights campaigner managed to climb up onto a ledge at Buckingham Palace, residence of the Queen.

    Jason Hatch, a 33-year-old campaigning for greater custody rights for divorced or separated fathers, dressed as Batman, scaled a wall onto a ledge by the Buckingham Palace main balcony and stayed there for five hours Monday afternoon before he was removed by police onto a cherry-picker crane.

    The latest broaching of palace security follows other incidents, including one in which an undercover reporter got a job as a royal servant in Buckingham Palace in the run-up to a visit by US President Bush last year. Also in 2003 Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle was gate-crashed.

    Responding to Monday's intrusion, Britain's top policeman, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens admitted that the incident was embarrassing. "There's no doubt it is. I've asked for a full report as soon as possible on my desk tomorrow morning," he told BBC radio. "We've got to resolve the situation."

    The Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said lessons from previous incidents had not been learnt. "When the threat from terrorism is at an all time high it is worrying that episodes like this can still take place," he said. "There must be serious questions asked about the ability of our authorities to protect the royal family".

    John O'Connor, a former Scotland yard Flying Squad commander, told BBC he was "astonished" anybody was able to get through the security cordon considering increased security awareness over the terror threat.

    "Clearly there was no-one there with the ability to stop intruders. It's bizarre," he said. Enditem

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