A terrorist attack at Wimbledon is “highly likely” according to security chiefs at Scotland Yard.
In the aftermath of last Friday’s Tunisian beach massacre, where at least 38 people, including 15 British holidaymakers, were slaughtered in an act of terrorism, the UK’s current terror threat level is at “severe” meaning an attack is “highly likely.”
Wimbledon security has been stepped up in response, with extra officers on patrol at the famous sporting event, including some in plain clothes.
According to the Telegraph, a “highly mobile” and reserve unit will also be at this year’s Wimbledon, ready to respond to “emerging incidents.”
Scotland Yard’s changes to Wimbledon’s usual policing plans come at a time when UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged a “full spectrum” response to terrorists following the Tunisian beach massacre.
The Herald reports that Cameron has also renewed his appeal for the end of the name Islamic State when it comes to referring to the terrorists responsible for the Tunisian beach massacre and those possibly planning future terrorist attacks, such as the one Scotland Yard are looking to prevent at Wimbledon.
“I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic state. What it is is an appalling barbarous regime that is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims will recoil every time they hear the words.
“This poisonous death cult is seducing too many young minds in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere and this is going to be the struggle of our generation and we have to fight it with everything we can.”
The threat of a terrorist attack at this year’s Wimbledon also comes at a time when Wimbledon organisers are discussing emergency plans to combat the predicted and unusual British heatwave this week, which could see temperatures rise to 100F (38C).
Wimbledon organisers are concerned that both fans and players could become exhausted and suffer in the heat, but a Wimbledon spokesperson has insisted no matter what, the roof on Centre Court will not be closed despite the fact that it was similar soaring temperatures which caused players to collapse in the fierce heat of last year’s Australian Open.
“The Championships is an outdoor daytime event. Therefore, in good weather, the roof will only be used if it is too dark to play on without it.
“Fans should drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. We have water fountains and bottled water can be brought into the grounds.”
Wimbledon organisers look likely to cling adamantly to their open roof policy on Centre Court, despite lowering it in 2009 to provided shade over the Royal Box.