Olympic news items are like buses, or decent Boris Johnson policies: you wait for ages then two come along at once. This week we've heard about the package of security measures announced for the Games, while the International Olympic Committee popped by to check up on how we're doing.
The announcement in July 2005 of London's Olympic triumph came just hours before the worst terrorist atrocity the city has ever seen, so from the outset, security for 2012 has been a major concern. Tarique Ghaffur, head of special operations for the Met, this week outlined a £600 million series of measures. Last year a senior cop described the security preparations as "not fit for purpose", and the plan is an attempt to assuage fears that officials are not sufficiently prepared. The main details are:
- A 60 day buffer zone around the Games during which stringent precautions will be in place
- The coordination of London's CCTV cameras into one unified network, meaning some 500,000 cameras will scrutinise almost every square inch of the city
- If the CCTV doesn't give you Orwellian shivers, this might: ticket holders for events will be "remotely tracked from their home to the venue".
- Automated vehicle registration checks and biometric checks for the anticipated 40,000 Games workers
The capital will also be divided into three distinct security zones, and a £100 million bomb-proof command bunker will be erected. We're not sure how that last one will fit into the 2012 "legacy" plans.
If this heavy-handed talk of terrorism has stymied your Olympic enthusiasm, some better news came in the form of the IOC's two-day review, during which they gave our progress an official thumbs up. The IOC were pleased that construction of the Olympic stadium is starting in April, three months early, though questions were raised about facilities for fencing, mountain biking and canoe slalom.
Finally, the IOC also noted that London is further ahead in its commercial partner work than any previous host city. To that end, the latest "tier one" partner, BT, was revealed. They join Lloyds TSB, EDF Energy, Adidas and British Airways in contributing to a £250 million investment slush fund.
Image courtesy of Sifter's flickrstream