Sexual assault reported in the queue to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin
Sep 16, 2022, 3:43 PM | Updated: 3:47 pm
(MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images via CNN)
(CNN) — A man has been charged after allegedly sexually assaulting two women in the queue for Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state in London on Wednesday, the Crown Prosecution Service told CNN.
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said on Friday that the man was charged with two counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order and two counts of sexual assault on a female.
Police arrested him after he allegedly exposed himself and pushed into the two women from behind, according to PA. The Metropolitan Police said the women had been queuing to see the Queen’s coffin after Westminster Hall opened its doors Wednesday.
The incident happened in Victoria Tower Gardens outside the Houses of Parliament.
The Metropolitan Police’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said he was not able to comment on details of the case, but said “officers were on hand to immediately respond and arrest the man.”
The Queen’s lying in state has attracted unprecedented number of people, who have been queuing for many hours at all times of the day.
The queue stretches from Westminster Hall for miles along the south bank of the River Thames. The line had to be closed several times on Friday after reaching its capacity. As of Friday afternoon, the government’s official tracker was advising waiting time of 24 hours.
Cundy said stewards and police officers were present throughout the route of the queue.
“There has been very little crime or other incidents where officers have had to intervene,” he said, adding: “I continue to ask all members of the public to remain vigilant and if you see something that doesn’t look right, please report it to an officer or steward.”
PA Media has reported that around 10,000 police officers could be on duty each day in the lead-up to the Queen’s State Funeral. It is expected to be “the biggest security operation the country has ever seen,” PA reported, citing Former Metropolitan Police commander Bob Broadhurst.
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