OPEN SE­CU­RITY TO BE IN­CREASED

Golf Australia - - AROUND THE TRAPS -

BRI­TISH armed forces may join po­lice in keep­ing this month’s Open Cham­pi­onship safe and se­cure.

A lo­cal ter­ror­ism ex­pert says height­ened se­cu­rity in the wake of the Manch­ester and London at­tacks should see a mil­i­tary pres­ence at Royal Birk­dale Golf Club, with more than 200,000 spec­ta­tors ex­pected to at­tend dur­ing the week.

Jonathan Cun­ning­ham, a for­mer Head of Mil­i­tary Counter-Ter­ror­ism Op­er­a­tions over Belfast and se­nior plan­ner for Iraq War 2003, told South­port’s Visiter news­pa­per se­cu­rity of­fi­cials will be plan­ning ex­tra pre­cau­tions for the tour­na­ment.

“Sports events and places like shop­ping cen­tres where lots of peo­ple will be gath­ered will have mil­i­tary pres­ence,” he said.

“The Open it­self is an eas­ier venue to pro­tect be­cause you have ge­o­graph­i­cal se­cu­rity, although it’s a mas­sive area and perime­ter so that will be a con­cern.

“The big­gest worry will be the trans­port net­work.”

In early May, R&A di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mike Wood­cock said: “We work very closely ev­ery year with our se­cu­rity ad­vis­ers and the po­lice and it’s some­thing we re­view ev­ery year ahead of the cham­pi­onship.

“I don’t think we have any spe­cific con­cerns this year but ob­vi­ously we are aware of what’s go­ing on more widely. We will be work­ing very closely with our se­cu­rity ad­vis­ers and the po­lice to make sure ev­ery­one is safe and can en­joy the cham­pi­onship.”

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