Berlin attack aftermath: Scotland Yard beefs up security around Buckingham Palace

London: Scotland Yard on Wednesday stepped up the security of Buckingham Palace and enforced a new cordon around it as a "precautionary measure" following the truck attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin in which 12 people were killed.

From Wednesday onwards, surrounding roads leading to Queen Elizabeth II's London home will be shut from 1045 to 1230 GMT (1615 to 1800 IST) on the days when the "Changing of the Guard" ceremony is scheduled to take place.

The move is part of a three-month trial which was being planned for some time but has now been brought forward amid a UK-wide security review triggered by the attack in Germany which killed over 12 people.

A Metropolitan Police statement said, "The closure follows a request from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) as part of ongoing security measures aimed at keeping the public safe".

 Berlin attack aftermath: Scotland Yard beefs up security around Buckingham Palace

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Reuters

"In a request to The Royal Parks, which manages the roads, the MPS highlighted that due to the event's high profile in an iconic location with a substantial military presence and attracting large crowds, the closures were a necessary precaution to continue protecting the public and those taking part in the event.

"The MPS has stressed the road closures, which have been planned for some time, are a precautionary measure and not in relation to any specific intelligence," it said.

The Met Police said the threat to the UK from international terrorism remains severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely".

Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Bray said, "The Met undertakes a range of different activities including strengthening security and high-visibility policing as part of a counter-terrorist strategy, and it will continue to take whatever action it believes is necessary to protect and reassure the public".

"Police continue to work in partnership to minimise disruption, but its priority is to ensure the safety and security of those who live, work and visit London," Bray said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the UK "stands ready to assist".

A 10 Downing Street spokesperson said there were "no plans" to change the UK's security level from "severe" but members of the public have been urged to remain vigilant and report to police any concerns.

Updated Date: Dec 21, 2016 19:37:18 IST