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Music festivals and big sporting venues on 'high alert' senior anti-terror police chief reveals

Festivals and sporting venues on 'high alert' - police. Credit: PA

Music festivals and big sporting venues have been put on on “high alert” - one of Britain's most senior anti-terror police officers has revealed.

The warning over potential Islamic State suicide attacks came before a number of music events across London and the UK in coming months, as well as Glastonbury festival and the kick off of the European football Championships.

Neil Basu, the Met Police deputy assistant commissioner, made the comments in the Sunday Times (£), following on from an anti-terrorism briefing at Wembley Stadium last week.

These people are perfectly happy to target civilians with the maximum terror impact. Crowded places were always a concern for us, but now they are right at the top of the agenda.”

– Neil Basu, the Met Police deputy assistant commissioner

He said venues and “crowded places” were a major concern of policing efforts this summer.

The deputy assistant commissioner, who has served with the Met for 24 years, said the Paris suicide bomb attacks last year, in which 130 people were killed, had “put everyone on much higher alert”.

Stadiums and big music events are particularly vulnerable, he said.

This is where you put a small town into a small area for a couple of hours.

That’s exactly the same with large concert venues and much harder [to safeguard] with a large open-air festival.

– Neil Basu, the Met Police deputy assistant commissioner

But spokesman on anti-terrorist protection for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said there was no specific intelligence to suggest an imminent attack on a music festival or sporting arena.

The England squad, among others, would be placed under armed guard by French police during Euro 2016, Mr Basu said.