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London Marathon: Police presence increased

London Marathon 2012
Image caption London Marathon attracts thousands of runners and spectators

There will be an increased police presence at the London Marathon on Sunday in light of the Boston Marathon bombings, the home secretary has said.

Theresa May told MPs that "some adjustments to policing" had been made after three people were killed in explosions near the Boston finish line.

Earlier, London police chiefs had sought to reassure people that Sunday's race would be safe.

More than 35,000 runners are due to take part.

The London Marathon route, which is lined by hundreds of thousands of spectators every year, starts in Blackheath and finishes near Buckingham Palace, passing some of the capital's most recognisable landmarks including Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and Big Ben.

After the double blasts in Boston on Monday, Scotland Yard reviewed security for the London Marathon - the next major international marathon to be held.

Mrs May, appearing before the Commons home affairs select committee three days before the event, said: "The London Marathon is obviously a regular event. The organisers have a good record in terms of the venue security arrangements for the event, such as you can for obviously an event which covers 26 miles.

"The police have looked... further at their arrangements. I believe they have made a number of adjustments to the arrangements that will be in place for the event.

Image caption The Boston explosions increased fears about the security of the London race

"But, of course, everybody wants to ensure that as far as possible people can come and enjoy an event which many people have obviously spent a very long time training for, and want to be able to raise substantial sums of money for charity."

At the Boston Marathon more than 170 people were wounded in the two blasts which detonated among spectators. Dozens remain in hospital, many of them seriously injured.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller told MPs in the Commons that last year's Olympic Games and years of experience by UK authorities showed sporting events could be run safely:

"You will know from London 2012 last year, this country has a great deal of experience of ensuring our sporting events go well and that security is at the heart of the planning process. The London Marathon is no different."

She added: "I can say we are reassured that, as a result of the experience we have got, not just through the marathon but also through the Olympics, that we have the right people in place to make sure this event is the great success that it is."

She also offered her condolences to the victims of the Boston explosions.

On Tuesday, Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe had said a review of security plans meant increased searches and more police on the street "looking after people, making sure they're safe."

He added: "We've no reason to think they're any less safe than they were before the terrible events in Boston."

London Marathon organisers have said they will hold a 30-second silence at the start as a mark of respect for the Boston victims. Runners will also be given a black ribbon to wear.

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