More than 60,000 people set to visit Portsmouth for D-Day 75 commemorations next week

MORE than 60,000 people are expected to visit the city for D-Day 75 commemorations, police have said.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 1:42 pm

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary have been tasked with ensuring the safety of veterans, the Queen and visiting heads of state, including US president Donald Trump.

They will gather on June 5 for the national commemorative event, which will see a dual-layered steel wall built around the main ceremony.

Security is being beefed up in Southsea - with more police patrolling than usual, mounted units deployed for the operation and the force’s marine unit monitoring the Solent.

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Hampshire police have a large presence in Southsea ahead of the D-Day 75 commemorations on June 5. Pictured is: Mounted horses outside the D-Day Story in Southsea Picture: Hampshire police

Drivers have been warned they may be stopped on the way into the city for checks by police.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle, from the force, called on the public to be extra vigilant. He vowed police responses to day-to-day incidents will not change.

He said: ‘We are incredibly proud to be playing a part in honouring our veterans who made great sacrifices for us all 75 years ago.

‘Hampshire played such a part in D-Day and Portsmouth is a city steeped in military history, so where better than to mark this very special anniversary?

Preparations for the D-Day commemorations have started to take place on Southsea Common, on Tuesday, May 21. Picture: Sarah Standing (210519-8050)

‘We have been working hard with the event organisers, local businesses and the community to help ensure we deliver a safe and successful event for everyone.

‘We are deploying many different security tactics in and around the city, so I hope people are reassured and not alarmed by this activity – it is all part of our policing operation to keep you safe.

‘This policing operation will be among the largest in Hampshire Constabulary’s history with the commemorations expected to attract in excess of 60,000 people from around the world to Portsmouth.

‘But while this is taking place in Portsmouth, I can reassure our communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that our response to incidents and day-to-day policing will not be affected.’

Hampshire police said it is using CCTV, automatic number plate recognition and vehicle barriers to keep people safe.

In a direct plea to residents for support, Mr Hardcastle said: ‘You are our extra eyes and ears. If you see something that doesn’t look right, let us know and we will look into your concerns.

‘Nobody knows your neighbourhood like you do, you are a valuable asset in helping us to detect and deter crime.’