Police stepping up Olympics security

The security operation to make sure next year’s Olympics pass off without incident is being stepped up.

Police are increasing officer numbers, planning crisis exercises and protecting venues.

The Metropolitan Police plan to boost numbers during the Games by recruiting up to 20 per cent of officers from outside London and deploying up to 12,000 of them a day, particularly for specialist roles such as mounted officers, protection officers and firearms experts.

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A dedicated Olympics team, the National Olympic Co-ordination Centre, has been established at Scotland Yard and 11 police forces and military are involved in the security effort, costing a total of �757m of public money.


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Some of the cash is being used by the Games’ organising committee to design venue security, including hand recognition technology to allow entry to authorised individuals.

A spokesperson for the organising committee said: “We are working closely with the Met Police and the Home Office on security measures for the Games and there is obviously a need to plan and test our measures.”

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Ten exercises have also been designed by the Home Office to test how the police would deal with crises including a “live” exercise on the streets of London next spring.

The exercises will be co-ordinated across boroughs and venues to teach officers how to deal with simultaneous incidents.

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Olympics co-ordinator, Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Chris Allison, said: “We are working closely with the Greater London Authority and local authorities across the country on the issue of parallel events.

“It’s quite clear that if we have a parallel event on that doesn’t have the required level of security, then the terrorists who can’t get into a major venue will potentially go to the other places.”

Ticketholders will be put through airport-style security before entering venues and police will also be taught how to deal with ticket touts.

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