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Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 12:11 GMT
Alert as palace security breached
St James's Palace
Two Frenchmen tried a 'short cut' through the palace
Police have apprehended two sets of tourists trying to climb into St James's Palace.

The first incident happened when two Frenchmen tried to take a "short cut" through the Prince of Wales' London residence, in central London, at 0450GMT on New Year's Day, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

On Thursday, two Americans were spotted on top of a side gate leading into the palace grounds.

The would-be intruders were all cautioned and sent on their way, said the spokesman.

Royal security scares
1974: Kidnappers try to grab Princess Anne outside Buckingham Palace
1981: Teenager fires six blanks at Queen's horse
1982: Michael Fagan scales Buckingham Palace drainpipe
1994: Demonstrator fires starter pistol at Prince Charles in Sydney
1994: Naked American paraglider Jim Miller lands on Buckingham Palace roof
1995: Man rams Buckingham Palace gates in car
1997: Escaped mental patient breaches Buckingham Palace grounds
1997: Intruder forces Kensington Palace lock next to Diana's living quarters
1999: Forty-year-old man scales Buckingham Palace railings
The first of the Frenchman to climb the walls, drunk after New Year's festivities, was grabbed by two Royal Protection Officers stationed at the palace.

"He did not make it into the grounds and was warned about his behaviour before being released and sent on his way," the spokesman said.

Security at royal residences had already been stepped up after an Australian writer paraglided onto the forecourt of the Queen's central London home Buckingham Palace on 28 December.

Brett de la Mare, 36, was trying to publicise his book Canine Dawn.

He was arrested but released pending further inquiries.

Although the Northern Ireland peace process has reduced fears of a terrorist attack on the Royal Family, there remain concerns about extremists.

In addition, palace security is threatened by the mentally ill.

More than 6,000 mentally unstable people have persistently visited royal palaces or written to the Royal Family over the past six years, according to a police report.

"Security arrangements are constantly reviewed," the police spokesman said.

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