Diplomat: Britain Ready for London Olympics Security
One hundred days before the start of the Games, a British diplomat in Jamaica declares London Olympics security ready to handle the influx of spectators, global leaders and athletes, an article in The Gleaner reports.
Graham Glover, Britain's deputy high commissioner to Jamaica, made the bold statement even as he conceded that the shadow of terrorism and the prospect of shuttling millions of spectators to and from each event are two of the biggest challenges for organizers. Airlines in particular have voiced strong reservations and concerns about air traffic issues during the two-week event. Budgetary issues have also been a main focus of Olympic planning as security costs continued to rise.
Glover called the Olympic plans "on track," saying that almost everything is in place at all the facilities to be used during the Olympics. The test, he said, will be centered on efforts to resolve security and transportation concerns over the next three months.
According to The Gleaner, intelligence efforts are the key to stopping terrorism at the event, even though roughly 23,700 security officers and 12,000 police personnel will be patrolling the city. But those police and UK military officers will play a more supporting role by maintaining a strong presence at the venues.
There have been no intelligence reports to suggest that the Olympic Games are a target of any terrorist group, Glover said, but he reiterated that the threat level around the Games has been placed at high.
"The air force will be available if required, the defence systems will be there to be called on if required, but the greater effort goes into the intelligence gathering before hand so that you can deal with these problems before they become an issue," Glover said in the article.
"You formulate your plans around what you learn, from your eyes and ears that are out there trying to get inside the various groups who may or may not wish to engage in a terrorist plot during an event like this," he continued.
Transportation concerns are being addressed by the addition of cable cars and barges to ferry spectators to the various venues.
Construction on permanent facilities has been completed "for some time," he said, and temporary venues "have been assembled, disassembled and will be re-assembled close to the start of the Games."