Security Plans for Pope Visit to Birmingham Given to Police

Birmingham Mail
September 6, 2010

A PACKAGE outlining security plans for the Pope’s visit to Britain has been handed in to a Midland police station – following reports that documents about the event were left in a pub in Warwickshire.

West Midlands Police is carrying out an enquiry after the package containing paperwork about the papal visit was given to officers at Shrewsbury police station yesterday afternoon.

This followed reports that a five-page document giving detailed information about the Pope’s movements during one of the biggest events of his four-day trip later this month.

The documents – left at Moorings Bar and Grill in Leamington – show parking arrangements and details about where VIPs will be sitting during the open air Mass at Cofton Park in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police said it was aware of both incidents couldn’t say whether they were regarding the same documents.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of the matter that some paperwork relating to the securituty plans around the papal visit have been handed in to a police station in Shrewsbury.

“These plans are under constant revision and we remain confident that security plans for all attendees to the event have not been compromised.”

In further developments regarding the visit, screens showing live footage of the Pope’s historic public mass in the city are to be erected at churches across the West Midlands.

Giant monitors will follow Pope Benedict XVI’s every move from the Mass in Cofton Park to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman on Sunday, September 19.

The development came yesterday when it also emerged that the Pope could meet people who were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests as part of his visit in Britain.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, pointed out that the Pope had met victims of clerical sex abuse during recent visits to other countries.

Speaking on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Cardinal Nichols said: “The pattern of his last five or six visits has been that he has met victims of abuse.

“But the rules are very clear, that is done without any pre-announcement, it is done in private and it is done confidentially, which is quite right and proper so I think we have to wait and see.

“But I don’t think I would quite put the problem and the challenge and the real tragedy of child abuse, especially for the victims, in the category of something that will overshadow everything else about this visit.

“This is an issue we have to take seriously and we try but it is not the whole story.”

Cardinal Nichols also confirmed during the interview that the Pope would be ferried across Birmingham in his Popemobile.


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