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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Embassy neighbours 'sacrificed'
US embassy in London
The group has called for two roads near the US embassy to be closed
Up to 100 people living near London's US Embassy have taken out a double-page newspaper advert saying they are being sacrificed as "collateral damage".

The Grosvenor Square Safety Group accused the government and police of putting lives at risk by failing to close off several roads in the area.

The advert in The Times said if an 850kg bomb hit the embassy, people as far as Oxford Street could be affected.

Scotland Yard said it was totally committed to ensuring their safety.

The group called for Upper Brook and Upper Grosvenor Street in Mayfair - one of London's most expensive regions - to be permanently closed.

A balance had to be struck to protect a potential terror target with the needs and concerns of local people
Robert Davis, Westminster Council
It said by not doing so, the Metropolitan Police was guilty of "moral failure".

The advert went on: "To this day, it remains unacceptable that Westminster City Council, the Metropolitan Police, the UK Security Services and UK Home Office should put a politicised perceived need to move traffic above that of the lives of embassy and personnel residents.

"A democratic country like the UK cannot adopt a very forward policy in fighting terrorism abroad, while at the same time leaving its citizens and residents, some of whom are American, exposed around top terrorist targets at home."

In response, Scotland Yard said only closures considered absolutely necessary were put in place so traffic could flow as freely as possible.

Westminster Council added that security measures were agreed by security services.

Robert Davis, of the council, said he did understand residents' concerns and would continue to talk to them.

"But a balance had to be struck to protect a potential terror target with the needs and concerns of local people, as well as the requirements of local businesses and Londoners," he said.


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