London, Apr 19: Public areas near Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey in London are being checked by special security teams in advance of the April 29 royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Police said on Tuesday they had checked areas along the parade route for explosives that might have been hidden in drains, lampposts, traffic lights and other possible hiding places.
The goal of the checks, expected to continue until the big event is concluded, is to make the route the royal couple will use as secure as possible.
All vulnerable areas will be checked in the sweep, said a Scotland Yard spokesperson.
The London Metropolitan Air Support Unit will play a vital role in security on the day using high definition cameras from a helicopter to provide support to police on the ground.
"We'll be making sure that all the security is in place, providing inventory, basically for the reassurance of those in charge of the event on the ground," said Sergeant Richard Brandon, London Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit.
"As we get nearer to the event itself clearly they don't want noise of a helicopter right over the top so we'll be moving away and we'll be policing the event from a distance," he said.
The unit will be focussing primarily on rooftops railways and waterways, said Sergeant Andy Hutchinson.
"Anybody who's on a high position who shouldn't be there we can check them without having to risk other officers," Hutchinson said.
The wedding, one of the most anticipated public events in recent years, will draw an extraordinary collection of royals, politicians and VIPs included Queen Elizabeth II and roughly 50 foreign heads of state.
That poses a severe security challenge, especially since the royal entourage will use a parade route that has been publicly announced several months ahead of time.
Police expect huge crowds to throng the parade route from the abbey to the palace, where the newlyweds are expected to emerge on a balcony in front of the multitudes for the traditional post-wedding kiss. They are likely to be joined by other senior royals.
In addition to the security sweeps, Scotland Yard plans to identify a small number of individuals thought to have an unhealthy obsession with the royal family and conduct surveillance to make sure they don't cause trouble on the wedding day.
Police have said that unstable individuals may pose a more severe threat than 'international terrorists', but they say they are confident they can handle the crush of onlookers expected that day. AP