The Importance of Security for the Olympics
Security is a major consideration when bidding for and or hosting a major international event, particularly one like the Olympic Games which enjoys extensive media coverage around the world and also brings huge crowds together at any given time. Events like this can fall prey to large scale attacks but considerations like crowd control and risk management are most prevalent. There are also many celebrations and with mind-altering substances like alcohol, there are always risks to consider. That is why there is so much effort, money and time put into ensuring that safety is a priority at a mega event like this.
A security risk that has become more and more possible around the world is terrorism. Spectators will be hyper-aware of this due to events like the London bombings which happened just after the bid’s win was announced. These attacks tend to target mass audiences and aim to do the most damage possible without regard for the lives of those who implement them. This is a great concern for the Olympic committee and an important risk for them to consider.
London will be hosting the Olympics in 2012 and an amount of £3 million was originally set aside as the security budget, although through planning and implementation, they have adjusted that budget constantly. The security budget currently stands at over £10 billion. Authorities have justified this budget in order to compensate for possible terrorist attacks and ensure the safety of all visitors after the London Bombing’s had left the world shaken. Their aim is to ensure that visitors not only are safe but also feel safe during this major event.
This budget will cover measures like bringing in the national army to ensure visitor safety. There will also be additional measures like helicopters flying over fan parks and stadiums as well as military jets in the hope that private planes that come too close to the stadium will be stopped in their tracks. This is not to mention all the additional security needed for crowd control and other potential security disasters. The government wants to ensure that everybody is as secure and safe as humanly possible within what is affordable and have even gone beyond that to implement security strategy.
The stadiums seem to be fairly secure at this point but the real problem lies outside at the fan parks which will be held in areas like Hyde Park. Because it is so important for Londoners to enjoy the event, there will be many people at these parks all hoping and encouraged to experience the Olympics together. Maintaining security at these parks is trickier than at the stadiums but the government will be putting measures in place.
The government are making use of Scotland Yard as well as a number of volunteers to assist with security efforts. These volunteers will be trained in advance. There will be automatic planes to monitor suspicious aircrafts and additional policing on public transport like the rail system. Whilst there seems to be a comprehensive security plan in place, it will be to the detriment of other areas because of the funding needed but visitors can rest assured that every measure will be taken to ensure the safety of spectators.