Elec. Telegraph: Police and troops placed on Millennium alertgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
ISSUE 1671 Wednesday 22 December 1999
Police and troops are placed on Millennium alert By George Jones, Political Editor
POLICE and troops have been placed on alert to deal with any outbreak of disorder on Millennium night, Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, told the Commons yesterday.
All police leave has been cancelled nationwide and troops in London and elsewhere in the country will be on standby, with some units ready to move at 10 minutes' notice. Contingency plans have been put in place to deal with millions of mobile phone users who may ring family and friends at midnight on New Year's Eve.
In a Commons statement on preparations for the Millennium, Mr Straw said there was a risk that revellers with mobile phones could swamp the system. Several million extra mobiles had been sold in the last few weeks, and many people who were out on New Year's Eve were expected to ring family and friends.
"The public telecommunications operators and emergency services have therefore put in place arrangements to manage the networks in such circumstances," he told MPs. An alternative Emergency Communications Network, connecting central and local government, the police, fire and military, would also be available.
Mr Straw said the UK was one of the best prepared countries in the world for the so-called Millennium bug, the problem associated with the date change. But he warned MPs of the "possibility of public disorder and other general difficulties".
He said additional ambulance and fire service staff would be on duty, and both services would be at an enhanced state of readiness. "The police service generally will be at a very high state of readiness. The Police National Information Centre at New Scotland Yard will receive information from every police force in the country."
A Government Millennium Centre, with emergency planning staff and information officers would operate on a 24-hour basis over the weekend. Key Government ministers would meet in Whitehall at 7pm on Millennium Eve and the following morning at 9 to decide whether any special measures were necessary.
An estimated 1.5 to two million people are expected to visit London, where 32 emergency patrol boats will be deployed on the Thames. The centre of London will be barred to most cars and lorries, and only residents and those with businesses in the traffic limitation zone will be allowed to travel by vehicle within it.
London firemen's unions have said that public safety could be put at risk on Millennium night because there might not be enough trained staff to cope with an emergency and two new high-tech fireboats, introduced to deal with trouble on the Thames, were facing "technical problems".
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999
Thanks for the post.
This is hardly breaking news, it's issues that should have been dealt with or considered months ago, particularly: "all police leave has been cancelled"
Why would it need to be "cancelled"? That implies a last minute decision, which means TPTB have misjudged the situation. Sure, WE know they've no idea what they're doing, but the last thing we need right now if for JQP to get a nervous twitch.
-- Servant (email@example.com), December 22, 1999.
What kind of "technical problems" could "new high-tech fireboats" possibly have? Interesting that the story abruptly ends there.
And all those cops are there just to calm all the cell-phone-carrying party animals? Laughable.
-- counting down (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999.