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07 June 2023

London reveals £600m security plan for Olympics

By Nissar Hoath



A senior officer from London’s Metropolitan Police has revealed details of the £600 million (Dh4.4 billion) security plan being drawn up for the 2012 Olympic Games.


The most stringent measures possible will be in force for the event, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur told the International Security National Resilience Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.


“Nine million people are expected to watch the games at various venues across Greater London,” he said.


“There will be 33 venues with more than 500,000 spectators from around the world visiting them daily for the 19 days of competition.


“The games will be attended by 15,000 athletes and 20,000 press and media representatives.”


He said the security operation would last for a 60-day period around the Olympics. Strict precautions were necessary because the threat level was at critical and was expected to remain high.


“London will be divided into three security zones to help make the arrangements more effective,” he told delegates.


“Three helicopters will carry out close surveillance for the games and in addition 500,000 closed-circuit TV cameras will be installed across the city. Other measures will include automatic vehicle number plate recognition and biometric tracking systems.”


A stringent security system is already in place at the Olympic Park, which will include the main stadium for the event and is being built by 40,000 workers.


“All the workers have security passes and all their data, including biometric fingerprints, has been recorded,” added Ghaffur, who is security co-ordinator for the Olympics.


“There are no illegal immigrants working at the site – it is the most secure workplace.


“Another important security feature will be the issue of tickets that are linked to the identity of buyers. We will have the most secure and transparent ticketing system. Tracking technology is being developed – a spectator will tracked from the venue to his or her home with these tracking tickets.”


He said extra closed-circuit TV cameras would be installed across the transport network to make the city safe during the games.


Earlier, Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan spoke about the challenges of working in a multi-cultural environment.


He said Dubai Police’s human rights department, established in 1995, has proved to an effective tool in building people’s confidence in the force.


“The department safeguards the rights and liberties of people with its focus mainly on working on international principles and abiding by the laws of the country,” he said.


He said the force carried out its duties in a more transparent way than before.


“In the past police meant ‘confidential’ and ‘classified’. Now everything is transparent – there is no more secrecy when it comes to police work. Now everything is public and on the table.


“A survey conducted by Dubai Police showed 85 per cent people have confidence in the country’s forces and 82 per cent think they efficient.”