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Cameron cuts down escort security

Source: PTI
May 16, 2010 16:05 IST
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Leave alone the President or prime minister, in India we have seen even our state/local ministers holding up the traffic to ensure a free passage for their cavalcade. People often bear the brunt during such VVIP arrivals or departures. But, in a major move, Britain's new Prime Minister David Cameron has done away with police motorbike outriders that escort his motorcade.

Cameron's vehicle was spotted without the usual motorbikes surrounding a prime minister's cavalcade, and reports said the young Conservative leaders considers it an "unnecessary extravagance".

The move was not officially announced, but No 10 sources said it was an "ostentation" to be sped through the traffic by police escort.

However, Cameron's decision was questioned by security experts as his blue bullet-proof Jaguar limousine was photographed stuck in crawling traffic in Whitehall yesterday.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown had been escorted by up to six motorcycle outriders who swept him through traffic, holding up other drivers and buses in an American-style motorcade.

Dai Davies, a former head of Royalty Protection at Scotland Yard, said he was shocked on first seeing the prime minister's convoy without motorbike escorts.

Davies said: "I thought at first there must be some mistake. You need the outriders to keep you going through the traffic."The first rule is keep moving. When you stop you get hit. I am extremely worried and I would urge Cameron to re-consider his decision," he was quoted as saying by the Sun.

He also questioned the absence of a lead vehicle in the motorcade. "I would say that whoever is in charge has to get their act together".

His predecessor Brown's outriders were members of the Metropolitan Police's Special Escort Group, whose elite armed members are specialists in anti-hijack driving.

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