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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Ng

Wimbledon organisers ‘not complacent about high risk of protest’

PA Wire

Wimbledon organisers have insisted they are not complacent about the “high” risk of protest at the tournament.

Operations director of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) Michelle Dite told reporters that “nothing happened” on the first day of the championships in relation to protests and the AELTC received “no intelligence”.

When asked whether there might be greater chance of disruption on Tuesday, she told reporters: “I think generally it’s high risk full stop.”

We are sorry that there were a number of people that were in that queue for a long time
— Michelle Dite, AELTC operations director

She added: “We are not complacent any day. Every day is like day one.”

AELTC chief executive Sally Bolton told reporters on Monday that security arrangements had been boosted at Wimbledon after climate change group Just Stop Oil (JSO) disrupted the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham and the World Snooker Championship.

Increased measures included a “100% bag search” and “selective body search” at all gates – the latter of which will be conducted “on the basis of intelligence”.

These checks were blamed for causing delays and standstills in the queue on day one, with some spectators who had visited Wimbledon in previous years calling it the “worst” they have ever seen.

The AELTC apologised on Monday for the delays caused by extra security and Ms Dite reiterated the apology on the second day of the tournament, insisting organisers are “confident” the queue will not descend into similar chaos.

“We are confident having reflected on what happened yesterday,” she said. “We are sorry that there were a number of people that were in that queue for a long time.”

Asked if any changes have been made, she said the club has reallocated resources to different places, re-briefed people managing the queue and ensured staff and/or volunteers will be keeping queuers updated with wait times.

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