Sports fans set for airport-style 20-minute security checks at London 2012 Olympic Park
By Daily Mail Reporter
Spectators will have already waited 64 years for the greatest sporting spectacle on earth to return to the UK - so what difference will another 20 minutes make?
But maybe they should plan to arrive in good time, especially if Usain Bolt runs another sub 10-second 100m, because they will have to face airport-style security and x-ray machines before entering venues in London’s 2012 Olympic park.
Security chiefs believe visitors will spend an average of 20 minutes queuing to enter the different sites. And they will be monitored by ‘thousands’ of CCTV cameras dotted around the park.
Around 12,000 police officers will be deployed to police the immediate area, with help from an additional 10,000 to 15,000 private security officials from firm G4S.
Scotland Yard revealed that testing of many of the venues had already started in anticipation of next year’s event.
The Games’ security and resilience director Sir Ian Johnston said: ‘There is a different environment at each venue which means that queue times will vary from venue to venue.
‘We are looking in many places at minutes within single digits and a norm of around 20 minutes. People will get a better idea of of queuing times nearer the Games so they can prepare themselves and their journeys.
‘We are not committing to any numbers at this stage but clearly we will let people know. The challenge for us around queue times is that they will really be determined by when people turn up as well as a number of other factors.’
National Olympic security co-ordinator Chris Allison said he had asked police chief constables to delay making cuts announced last year to their limited pool of officers with specialist skills to ensure there were enough available for the Games.
‘It is a massive challenge for the Met but also British policing plc. Wherever possible, the chief constables are saying yes they will do that.
‘We are consistently testing the numbers. We are then going to all forces across the country and saying “these are the things and the people with the various skills that we need, can you provide them?”
‘At the moment we can provide them. We are satisfied that there are those skills up and down the country.’
London 2012 test events, which are currently under way, are giving the police and the Games organisers a chance to see how key officials will work together ahead of the event.
The test events, a series of set competitions or special tournaments, examine the field of play, equipment being used, volunteers and staging of the events.
They will all be on a bigger scale for the Games but they test out the communication links between key organisations such as the police, emergency services and London 2012.