As security efforts are being ironed out for King Charles III’s coronation on May 6, a 59-year-old man has reportedly been arrested outside Buckingham Palace on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.
The man allegedly threw items believed to be shotgun cartridges onto the palace grounds on Tuesday evening. Officers detained the man around 7 p.m. local time and searched him, finding a knife but no gun in his possession, according to London’s Metropolitan police.
The area was then cordoned off so a controlled explosion of the discarded items could be carried out as a precaution. The incident is not being treated as terror-related and the man is believed to have acted in isolation, the Metropolitan police said.
“There have been no reports of any shots fired, or any injuries to officers or members of the public,” Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Officers remain at the scene and further enquiries are ongoing.”
King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, were not in the palace during the time of the arrest but they entertained Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier that day.
The U.K. security minister Tom Tugendhat lauded the efforts as “a fantastic piece of policing” during a Wednesday radio interview with BBC. He added “a huge security operation,” known as Operation Golden Orb, is in place to ensure public safety during the coronation.
Tugendhat also told Sky News, “We’re in no way complacent. And I’m very, very proud of the response that the police have done.” He added: “The intelligence services, the police and others have been working on this extremely effectively for months.” He declined to volunteer an estimate of how much these security measures would cost the British taxpayer.
These measures will involve the deployment of hundreds of officers across the procession route—from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace—as well as plainclothes officers located in the crowds and snipers in place on rooftops. A no-fly zone will also be implemented in Central London, with drones banned, and barriers will be erected to prevent vehicles from driving into crowds.
Metropolitan police officers are also undertaking unusual preemptive measures to minimize the threat of terror offenses and public disruption, the Times of London reported.
Police and mental health officers are working together to identify anyone who could be a possible threat, including royal obsessives. These individ—uals will be engaged and monitored by mental health workers.
Additionally, police officers will reportedly visit convicted terrorists and warn them to avoid the public event. They will also use intelligence to monitor disruption from environmental protests groups and make pre-emptive arrests of troublemakers.
Simon Morgan, a former Met personal protection officer told the Times: “Senior members of the British royal family, royals across the world, key government figures and heads of state. They’re all still coming and the policing plan has to reflect that.”