High security amid the weekend crowds

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The Independent Online

Thousands of Britons packed central London yesterday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

In a spectacular fly-past of vintage warplanes which included a Spitfire, B52 and Hurricane fighters, one million poppies were dropped from a Lancaster bomber on to a crowd of 250,000 who watched the Queen pay tribute to victims of the war and the recent terrorist attacks on London.

Britain, however, remains on a state of high security alert after a weekend of false terror scares. Bomb disposal teams have carried out 100 controlled explosions of suspicious packages since terrorist attacks on three London Underground trains and one London bus.

Heathrow terminal three was evacuated yesterday after a security scare.

At Silverstone, Northamptonshire, the site of yesterday's British Grand Prix, there were 12 reports of suspect packages. Sniffer dogs, extra uniformed police and specialist officers were called in help to deal with what turned out to be false alarms. A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: "It has been a difficult week for obvious reasons but the organisers here, the police and their partners, are all delighted with how the operation went, from security and smooth traffic management to the low-crime operation.

"But, in light of those events in London, we were keen to upgrade our security and reassure members of the public by asking for their co-operation and increasing high-visibility policing around the circuit.''

At Lord's, where England were playing Australia in a one-day international, there was also heightened security, with police carrying out random bag searches. Similar security precautions were enforced in Manchester, where athletes were taking part in trials for the world championships and Commonwealth Games.