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Anti-terror strategy planned for City

A STRATEGY for dealing with the threat of future terrorist attacks in the City is being designed by the City of London Corporation with help from businesses and the police writes Ngaio Crequer.

The Corporation, which is responsible for London's Square Mile, has met police and representatives of more than 400 businesses, including merchant banks, insurance offices, tourist attractions and shops, to develop a fresh approach to the problem.

The Home Office has been asked to provide an extra 57 police constables to keep a special watch in the wake of recent bombing activity by the IRA.

The Corporation is also considering whether it has its own powers to enforce an exclusion zone around the City. One proposal is to have civilian checkpoints on traffic which would pass near key landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral, Mansion House, the Monument, the Stock Exchange, Guildhall and the NatWest Tower.

Michael Cassidy, chairman of the policy and resources committe of the City of London Corporation, said last night: 'We are considering various street closures for through traffic. There would be free movement for buses and taxis. But one suggestion is that we license regular users. For other through traffic we could put up barriers, not a road-block, but cars would be searched.

'We may need powers to do that. It may need legislation. But we have 800 years of our own legislation. We have a long tradition of Acts of Parliament concerned just with the Square Mile. Our people are looking at that now,' he said. Proposals would be put out for public consultation. Another idea favoured by City institutions is a big increase in security cameras.