UNDER-FIRE Metropolitan Police officers could use beefed up stop and search powers to clamp down on anarchist protesters at next month’s royal wedding.

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The Met was criticised for letting a small group of campaigners smash up several West End shops at Saturday’s huge march against the government’s cuts.

Losses to retailers as a result of the protests have been put at £5M.

But Commander Bob Broadhurst, the man in charge of policing at the anti-cuts event, says that people attending the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton can expect a higher level of protection from anarchist groups who plan to disrupt the procession.

“You are looking at a different type of threat,” said Broadhurst.

“The threat to the wedding is a threat to ‘principals’.”

In police-speak, ‘principals’ means VIPs, who will be in town by the bucketload for the royal ceremony. It now looks like the police will stop and search suspects before the wedding, unlike on Saturday, when vandals have been targeted after the event, using video evidence.

“We are looking specifically at the royal wedding and what we can to do prevent Saturday’s disorder and violence creeping in to that event,” Broadhurst told Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We always look at our powers to try to quell violence before it happens.”