As the biggest sporting event in UK history, London 2012 will also be its biggest ever peacetime security operation. Since winning the bid in 2005, the Government has been working with LOCOG, police and security agencies to put advanced plans in place for keeping the public and visitors safe.
Security operations will involve an unprecedented level of collaboration between police, military and security services to counter any potential threats, and all security agencies have taken part in an extensive programme of test exercises to ensure that these arrangements work effectively.
The UK has extensive experience of handling high-profile global events. Over a period of years we have been working to ensure that visitors and the public can look forward to experiencing a safe and secure Games whilst enjoying the true spirit of the occasion.
Key points about Olympic security:
- The focus of the Government is to deliver a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy.
- We will leave nothing to chance in our aim to deliver a Games that London, the UK and the whole world will enjoy.
- We are working to a robust safety and security strategy.
- We have tested our plans.
- Safety and security funding for the Games has been protected to ensure the safety of all those participating, watching and visiting the Games.
- The police and emergency services have substantial experience of major events and will bring this to bear.
- Our approach is intelligence-led and risk-based, and flexible to respond to changes between now and the Games.
- The Games should be a peaceful celebration of sporting achievement and cultural celebration; they are not a security event.
The Home Secretary has overall responsibility for the security arrangements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in accordance with the guarantees given by the then Home Secretary to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2005:
- To ‘co-ordinate all matters of security and the emergency services for the Games’
The Olympic Safety and Security Programme – led by the Home Office and covering policing and wider security, excluding venues – will be delivered for £475 million.
Delivery of venue security is the responsibility of LOCOG, as event organiser, working closely with the police and security agencies and the Government, as the guarantor of security to the IOC.
The government has provided £553 million from the public sector funding package for venue security:
- Security guards;
- Infrastructure (i.e. fences, alarm systems);
- Search and screening equipment;
- In venue policing; and
- LOCOG workforce costs.
London’s Metropolitan Police force has been at the forefront of planning and delivering a policing operation that, with partners, will keep the Games safe and secure. The Metropolitan Police will also manage the large number of additional events across the capital this summer, as well as maintaining its service for Londoners and the hundreds of thousands of expected visitors.
Supporting the Police, and other civil and Olympic authorities, the Ministry of Defence is contributing up to 17,000 military personnel to the Games. This is not in response to any specific threat. Military involvement will include the army, navy and airforce, including specialist capabilities and expertise, as well as support for the Olympic venue security and ceremonies. A Military Contingency Force will also be available to respond to Olympic-related civil emergencies.
- Statement on military support for the Games (12 July 2012)
During the Games, measures have been put in place to protect against cyber threats. These include:
- A 24/7 operational cyber co-ordination team helping to combat and react to a range of cyber threats;
- Collaboration between LOCOG and Metropolitan Police in relation to online ticketing fraud;
- Advice for businesses providing services supporting national infrastructure – and larger businesses in general – can find information on the website of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
Detailed plans are in place to ensure the UK’s ‘blue light’ emergency services can support the demand from the Games as well as maintaining normal services for the rest of the population.
- London Fire Brigade (LFB) has specific Venue Operational Plans for each Olympic and Paralympic competition venue, with every Olympic venue either having fire services on standby or reserved for the event at the nearest fire stations. LFB staff will be located permanently in the Olympic Park Operations Centre throughout the Games and each competition venue will have a dedicated liaison officer inside the venue.
- London Ambulance Service (LAS) – Around 400 frontline staff will be working in Games venues, with about half from other NHS ambulance services in England. LAS’s event control room will be open 24/7 during the Olympic and Paralympic Games with aroundn extra 70 ambulances dedicated to the Games in addition to normal vehiclesavailable. Extra motor cycle responders will be on duty for busy hotspots like St Pancras and Stratford train stations and teams of paramedics will be on foot to get through the crowds quickly.
- NHS London – London’s strategic health authority has been helping all NHS organisations to plan so that the NHS Plans are in place to ensure the NHS continues to provide services as usual to Londoners and visitors during the Games. and that it meets any resulting increases in demand for healthcare services. If needed there are three designated hospitals that will provide medical care to accredited members of NHS London will also provide additional medical care to accredited members of the ‘Games Family’ to support LOCOG’s services in Games venues. London 2012 has provided unparalleled opportunities to improve the health of people in the capital. In London this has included using the Games to developdeveloping innovative schemes which ‘prescribe’ physical activity to patients as part of their treatment for long term health conditions.
Tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are only available through certain specified channels. Spectators unsure of the validity of their tickets are urged to check the London 2012 Ticket Checker.
LOCOG has been alerted to the fact that a few companies/individuals are fraudulently claiming to be associated with London 2012. It has issued specific advice on how to stay safe online to guard against phishing and other scams.
LOCOG have provided detailed advice for spectators of the Games. Key advice includes:
- Allowing extra time to get to events as there will be security checks at venues;
- Checking items which are allowed at home but are illegal in the UK – such as personal protection sprays;
- Being aware of restrictions on what can be taken into venues including liquids and certain sized bags;
- Ticket holders are strongly discouraged from taking bags to football venues.
The Home Office, with support from partners across Government, the emergency services and the Games community, has carried out a programme of Games-wide exercises to test the effectiveness, resilience and decision-making capability of key Games-time structures and processes.
These exercises simulated a number of incidents that could happen during the Games and tested how different agencies work together to deal with them. This programme involved table-top testing to command post exercising and full scale live play events.
There were three Government–led Command Post Exercises. The final one was held in April 2012 and involved 4,000 participants including Senior Government Ministers.