Bush visit a boon for London muggers

US President George Bush unwittingly contributed to a rise in street robberies in London during his state visit to Britain last week.

    Bush enjoyed royal hospitality while robbers had a field day

    Newspapers reported that muggings in London went up by 20% while Bush was in town, as thousands of policemen were pulled out from

    normal policing duties to be part of an unprecedented security operation.

    Muggings on London's streets in the days before and after Bush's visit stood at around 150 a day but rose to 180 when the president was

    in the capital, The Times and The Daily Telegraph said, citing police figures.

    London's Metropolitan Police was forced into almost tripling the number of officers on duty during the two-and-a-half days Bush spent in

    the capital to 14,000.

    The newspapers added that police chiefs expect problems to persist in the coming weeks as officers catch up with lost days due to

    having worked extended shifts during Bush's visit.

    Bush also spent half a day in northeastern England visiting Blair's constituency, costing Britain's taxpayers an estimated £1 million.

    SOURCE: AFP


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