Letter: Troops stand by

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your article "999 calls could cause meltdown on millennium" (1 November) says that the Government's millennium centre "has troops at its disposal to counter any public disorder on the night" but fails to recognise one important point.

While the armed forces are always on standby to provide assistance if needed, 365 days a year, the police and fire services are confident that they would not need to ask for emergency assistance from the armed forces over the millennium. This was made clear by the Home Secretary when opening the millennium centre last week.

While normal contingency arrangements have been overhauled just in case, the armed forces have received no requests for emergency military assistance for the millennium period.

OONA MUIRHEAD

Director of News

Ministry of Defence

London SW1

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