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UK Confident in Olympics Security

2012 London Olympics StadiumThe Home Office says that it’s completely confident in the security plans drawn up for the Olympics last year. This follows the US expressing some concerns about it, and it’s been reported that the country wants to send as many as 1,000 of its own security personnel, including 500 from the FBI. In recent years, deploying overseas security for the Olympics has been standard procedure. However, the host government holds the responsibility.

The Home Office says that the government is committed to providing safe and secure events, while funding for security has been protected and planning is on track. They also say the don’t acknowledge alleged concerns from the US on an official level as true. However, it’s been reported by The Guardian that US anxiety has risen from arrests prior to the Pope’s visit last year, a security guard being arrested at the Olympic site and the London riots. Another concern is said to be the restraint of the range of anti-terrorism stop-and-search powers.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) has responded to the article’s claims, saying that precise security officer numbers are just now being finalised due to the venues themselves only being completed now. The organising committee explains that a huge amount of collaborative work has been finished since winning the hosting bid. Over the 18 days of events, there will be 650 sporting sessions. They have built and selected more than 100 competition and non-competition venues, as well as designed accommodation and transport plans. All of this had to be finalised before moving on to security plans. They have been working close with government and security agencies over the last year, it added.

National Olympic security co-ordinator Chris Allison said earlier this year that he believed 12,000 officers would be needed to police the event nationally. Another 10,000 to 15,000 security officials may also be deployed by G4S, the private security firm, he added. However, it’s believed that there is about a 5,000 person gap in the number of staff to secure all the Olympic venues.

Officials will be responsible for searching bags and vehicles, as well as securing the perimeter. It’s been said that the Army has offered to fill the gap, but there are questions as to who would pay for the service. There is also understood to be negotiations between the military, Metropolitan Police and the Locog. A spokesman for the Home Office said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has undertaken detailed inspections of preparations for security and is fully confident in the plans. The UK has a strong and close relationship with the US, who has expressed similar confidence as well, he added.

 

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