Members of the media were allowed access to the police operation briefing on the Papal visit. Commander Bob Broadhurst, Gold command, will be in charge of the operation. Chief Inspector Ian Thomas, Silver command, advised all senior officers of all units of the 4,000-strong police operation to follow the ACPO guidelines and respect the UK press card. Any doubts over press cards must be checked by using the phone number on the back of the card.
At the briefing police said that the intenational terrorist threat is set at severe, although the threat to the Pope and the Sequito (Papal staff) are considered low. The threat against the Prime Minister is moderate. Although police reminded that threat levels have been low before when assassinations have succeeded. They also said that there will be a large number of armed officers covering the two day visit, both overt and covert, on the ground and at elevated positions. Armed officers on the ground will also be armed with Tazers.
The dedicated number for journalists to contact police press liaison officers is: 07917 556824.
The NUJ Emergency Legal number is 0800 5877530, this is for NUJ members who need emergency legal assistance only. Branch Legal rep Marc Vallée will also available on 07947 181204.