Olympics Should Leave Security Legacy
Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Andrew Amery has been involved in drawing up the security arrangements for the London Olympics since the bid was first put together, and is now working full time on the event.
Speaking at the Event and Venue Security Conference in London, Chf Insp Amery said that while it was important that security didn’t become the public focus of the games, there could be significant benefits for the communities living around Olympic sites.
“The Olympics is no longer about event security, but global security; it’s a global event taking place on the world stage.”
“We want the security legacy to be us leaving a safe and secure environment for the communities of East London after the games, on issues such as Safer Neighbourhoods, lighting and crime prevention. We want a games and a legacy that will reduce crime and the fear of crime.”
While he refused to comment on specific security arrangements or costs for the 2012 Games, Chf Insp Amery said there would be a vital role for the private security industry to play, and that organisers were focusing on a “partnership approach”.
“There is a working group looking into the role of the private security industry at the games,” he added, with issues such as crowd management, searching ticket holders and technical security among the main areas under consideration.
The organising committee for the London Games will also be looking at lessons learned from previous Olympics, and Francesco Norante, Head of Security for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, outlined to delegates the organisational structures and measures that were put in place for that event.
Mr Norante said that the event had presented a number of security challenges – particularly in the planning stages – including:
· The need for joint planning and operations with private organisations which may not share a common ethos,
· Co-ordinating a multitude of resources which may only be arriving just prior to the Games,
· The need to assign full time resources during the planning process,
· Balancing the security requirements without compromising the level of service.
He added that among the lessons learned form the event in Torino was the importance of assigning law enforcement commanders to full time Olympic duties not less than 12 months before the Games start, and the need for co-locating the law enforcement planning and operations team within the organising committee HQ. Mr Norante is now carrying out a senior security role for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The Event and Venue Security Conference was taking place alongside London’s largest ever security exhibition, featuring more than 150 leading companies including SecurityOracle.com, the website for the security industry. Andrew Greenfield, SecurityOracle.com MD, said: “The standard of debate in the conference was matched by the innovation and technology on display in the exhibition, and we had a fantastic response over the two days from delegates and exhibition visitors alike.”
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