SBD/November 14, 2011/Olympics

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  • U.S. Contingent Bringing Its Own Agents To London Games Amid Security Concerns

    LOCOG conceded it underestimated number of security guards needed for all 32 sites

    The U.S. has “raised repeated concerns about security at the London Olympics and is preparing to send up to 1,000 of its agents, including 500 from the FBI, to provide protection for America's contestants and diplomats,” according to Hopkins & Norton-Taylor of the GUARDIAN. American officials have “expressed deep unease that the UK has had to restrict the scope of anti-terrorism ‘stop and search’ powers, and have sought a breakdown of the number of British police and other security personnel that will be available next summer.” The U.S. government’s “need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials.” LOCOG is “attempting to resolve a potential crisis over venue security, after conceding it had underestimated the number of security guards needed at the 32 sites across the country.” LOCOG originally “had thought 10,000 guards would be enough, but after a review over the summer it now believes it will need up to 21,000.” U.K. officials at the Home Office and Scotland Yard believe the country “has a robust security strategy, but this has not stopped American officials voicing their concerns.” The police response “to the London riots, the arrest of a security guard at the London Olympics site earlier this year, and the arrests made shortly before the visit of the Pope last year have provoked anxiety among US officials.” Hopkins & Norton-Taylor note in addition to the “official American security entourage, the sponsors of the Games, including Coca-Cola, will have their own private security details, adding to the complexity of the policing operation” (GUARDIAN, 11/14).

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