Planning a safe and secure Games

The Home Secretary has overall responsibility for the security arrangements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, following the signed guarantee given to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2004.

To plan and deliver a safe and secure Games the Home Office are working with partner agencies such as the police service, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), who all have a major role to play.

You can find more details about LOCOG and ODA, including about how you can get involved in the Games, on the London 2012 website.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic safety and security strategy

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic safety and security strategy, which all involved agencies have signed up to, was first published in July 2009. Following the recent audit and review of the Olympic and Paralympic safety and security programme a revised strategy was published on 10 March 2011. Alongside this, an information leaflet designed to explain to the general public how we plan to deliver a safe and secure Games in 2012 has also also been published.

The Home Office has also carried out an equality impact assessment of the supporting concept of operations.

The risks we face

In planning a safe and secure Olympic Games we are taking into account a broad range of potential risks. As with other major events this is not just terrorism, but public order, serious and organised crime and non-malicious incidents such as accidents and extreme weather.

Our approach is led by the latest intelligence and regular risk assessments, giving us the flexibility to respond to any changes between now and 2012. Our plans are based on the current threat level from international terrorism.

You can find our more about how risks to the Games are being identified and considered in the Olympic Safety and Security Strategic Risk Assessment (OSSSRA) - summary.

Funding the security operation

On Monday 13th December 2010 the minister of state for policing and criminal justice, Nick Herbert, set out a new four-year settlement of government funding for the police, broken down by police authority.

The announcement, which was delivered in a written ministerial statement to parliament, also outlined spending plans for Olympic safety and security for the remainder of the programme. This set out that £600m will be made available if necessary. However, the government is confident it can deliver the programme for £475m.

Securing the venues

Safety and security plans are being developed for all Olympic and Paralympic venues, not just the Olympic Park.

Plans to secure the stadium, the most iconic of the Olympic venues, include the ODA’s comprehensive programme to reduce security risks through venue design, to protect the Park during construction and to put infrastructure in place to provide additional security measures during the Games.

How ‘visible’ will security be at the Games?

The Olympics is a sporting event, not a security event. Our aim is to make the policing and security operation as unobtrusive as possible while remaining effective, providing a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for people to enjoy the Games in safety.

Like other major events, you will notice security measures at various points, such as when entering the venues. We will be using familiar methods that have been proven to work, such as bag searches, screening machines, CCTV and metal detectors. 

As well as police officers, you may see a variety of stewards, security guards, volunteers and emergency services staff who will all be involved in keeping the Games safe and secure.

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

The IOC meet police and security officials when they carry out their regular assessments. They are content with progress so far, and will continue to review our work at regular intervals leading up to the Games.

Policing the Games

Delivering the safety and security of the Games will be one of the biggest security challenges the UK has ever faced and some areas, particularly London, will need more officers than usual. This may mean that police from around the country will need to be deployed to London and to other locations hosting Olympic and Paralympic venues.

The government and police force are developing plans for this which will ensure that regular, high levels of policing will continue to be carried out throughout the country during the summer of 2012.

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