Hysteria over protests connected to the G20 conference continues to grow, with ID checks for East-end residents and train staff told to tip off police about suspicious passengers.
The Metropolitan Police is telling residents and workers near the ExCeL conference centre, where G20 leaders will meet, that they will need two forms of ID, one photographic and one linked to their residence or place of business, to get through barriers.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said there was no legal basis for the request, but that people would get through barriers more quickly if they had the two forms of identification.
Operation Glencoe, as the Met's plan is dubbed, will be run by Commander Bob Broadhurst and will involve 10,500 officer tours of duty.
Commander Simon O’Brien said yesterday: "We are seeing the return of some old faces, people we have not seen on the protest circuit in London for some years...We’ve been monitoring chatrooms, emails, and open sources of information, and the aspiration of the demonstrators is to try and attract around about up to 2000 people [to Wednesday's demonstrations]"
The first demonstration on Saturday saw 35,000 people walk peacefully through central London. There was one arrest for drunkenness.
The Reg can also reveal that at least one train company is asking its staff to spy on passengers they suspect of heading to the demonstrations.
CrossCountry, part of Arriva group, handed staff coming to work this morning a bizarre, mis-spelt letter asking them to note any passengers that might be demonstrators and phone a British Transport Police hotline.
The letter says:
Whilst our Services are very unlikely to be directly affected by the event, it is possible that they will be used by passengers intending to to make their way to demonstrate in London.
Therefore British Transport Police are asking staff to report any sightings that meet the following general description of activities.
Groups of travellers wearing noticeable themed clothing, for example same large logo or coloured shirts etc
Any noticeable groups who are believed to be traveling [sic] to London
Any groups carrying banners or posters
Any group bookings to London that day/s
Thanks to Reg reader Marcus for the tip-off - Indy media has a scan of the full letter here.
A spokeswoman for CrossCountry confirmed to the Register that: "we have issued advice to our staff, based on the advice given by the British Transport Police." ®