Written on August 13, 2011
London 2012 security was being tested today after the recent riots forced police to rethink their plans.A three-day exercise organised by the Government’s COBRA committee will test everything from terrorism to heatwaves ahead of next year’s Games.
And senior police acknowledged they had been caught out by the scale of the unrest that swept across the UK last month.
Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron of the Met Police said: “We are going through the whole gamut – from food poisoning to terrorism through to heatwaves and rail disruption.
“We have to understand how we manage the games in those situations.We recognize we didn’t always get it right during the rioting.We are reassessing plans in light of what happened during the riots to make sure the resources we have match the risk.We are still reviewing everything post-riots to make sure we have learned the lessons.”
Looters caused chaos on the streets of London, burning buildings and ransacking businesses as police struggled to contain the trouble.Around 12,000 police officers will be on duty each day during next year’s Olympics, which will have a security budget of £475million pounds.
Authorities have identified 20 main potential risks to London 2012 security and the top four include terrorism, serious crime – specifically ticket fraud – protests and natural disasters such as floods or heatwaves.
The security exercises, which will end tomorrow, allows police, government and Games organizers to test how their infrastructure could cope with an emergency during London 2012.
DCSI Bonthron added: “It’s a simulation where people go through and exercise and test communications, test what sort of responses we need, what sort of information flows we would need to make sure everyone understand their roles.
“It’s focused on the response to an incident that could be terrorism or it could be something more minor that could affect the games.”
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