New US Embassy in UK: No perimeter fence, benches for publi

LONDON (AP) — The most surprising aspect of the pricey new U.S. Embassy in London is what isn’t there: a perimeter fence.

There is no high security barrier to protect the highly visible embassy in a city that has been targeted repeatedly by extremists.

Instead there are some public gardens with benches on the edge of the property, then a pond to keep unauthorized people from approaching the new building south of the River Thames.

U.S. Ambassador Robert “Woody” Johnson said Wednesday the $1 billion (1.34 billion-pound) building opening to the public on Jan. 16 is designed to be both welcoming and secure.

He said he hopes President Donald Trump will come to London for its official dedication, which may come weeks or longer after the embassy’s first day of business.