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Police ask residents living near The Grove hotel to show photo ID during Bilderberg meeting
Residents living close to the Grove Hotel will have to show their passport to police officers before they can get to their homes during the upcoming Bilderberg Group meeting.
The controversial meeting will see around 150 politicians, academics, business leaders and royals descend on the Watford hotel for a secret three-day conference from June 6 to June 9.
The event is expected to attract hundreds or even thousands of protestors to the area and has prompted what appears to be an unprecedented security operation by Hertfordshire Constabulary.
With less than two weeks to go until the start of the meeting, the Watford Observer can reveal details of the police ring of steel that will surround the hotel between 6am on Thursday, June 6 and 2pm on Sunday, June 9.
Police will operate round-the-clock checkpoints on roads around the hotel including Grove Mill Lane which will be closed to all non-residential traffic for the duration of the meeting, those living on the road will be required to provide a passport, drivers licence or other form of ID.
A leaflet handed to residents shows that all footpaths and public rights of way across the land will also be suspended for the duration of the security operation.
Access to the rear of the hotel from Langleybury Lane will also be restricted with diversions in place.
Unsurprisingly, the additional security has caused consternation amongst residents.
"I think it’s totally outrageous and it is infringing my civil liberties," said Kevin Butcher, a Grove Mill Lane resident.
"We have never previously been asked for photo ID during any event at The Grove. We have no idea what is happening with visitors and whether they will be allowed in.
"I think people should be protesting the Bilderberg group when they come here.
"They are coming here to have a meeting which is not going to be in any way documented. We as the public should be allowed to know what is being decided."
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: "It is a bit of an imposition but on the other hand there are going to be politicians here from all around the world so there needs to be a level of security."
Other residents were more willing to accept the additional security. Mike Yule, a consultant assessor also from Grove Mill Lane added: "They are going to close the road just to residents around the whole loop.
"I don’t see it as a problem, it is very reassuring. The officers came around last week and said their job is to stop people getting into the site, if they hadn’t come round perhaps we would be more concerned."
Although residents have been left with the impression that providing identification will be mandatory during the meeting, a Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesman told the Watford Observer the force was only advising residents to take photo ID with them and those who do not present identification would not be prevented from entering their homes.
Police are arranging a meeting for residents living in old Hempstead Road to explain how the arrival of the Bilderberg group will affect them.