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The multinational security games

All workers at the site at Stratford, east London, that is being developed in preparation for the games will be asked to provide electronic fingerprint and iris recognition information to gain access to their workplace under the proposals from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

The information gathered, which will include copies of the passports and papers of all foreign workers hired for the construction efforts, will be used to boost security around the London Olympics site.

Speaking during the International Sports Security Summit at Westminster last week Metropolitan assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who is co-ordinating security for the games at the Olympic Security Directorate, said "I would like to see DNA testing as well, but I don't think we will get away with that."

With 200,000 accredited personnel and 70,000 volunteers he said registering all those involved into a central database was essential to maintaining security.

"One of the main issues will be technology vs people," Ghaffur said. "An event of this scale means technology plays a bigger part in the look and feel of the games and means surveillance will be a major issue that will likely cause debate."

Ghaffur expects 9,000 police to be in uniform for the games, more than the number used to control about 500,000 people at the annual Notting Hill Carnival, London's biggest public event.

"The new Wembley (stadium) and the Emirates Stadium will also provide valuable security lessons for us," he said.

Peter Ryan, who was in charge of security at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, said the threat was not just to stadiums but also to public areas and electricity stations.

"We have, in my view, been extremely lucky that the first division, as I call the top level of terrorist groups, have not targeted a large, major event for many years," "It's probably just a matter of time."

Ryan was also the principal security adviser for the 2004 Athens Olympics. He is a security consultant for the International Olympic Committee on the 2008 Beijing Games.

Ryan said open-air venues where fans watch events on big screens were "extremely vulnerable" to attack. Critical infrastructure -- such as electricity and water supplies -- could also be a target.

"If they go wrong or break down or get attacked, it really will have an incredible effect on the major event," Ryan said. "If an electricity substation goes down, for example, or the water's contaminated, it can have an enormous impact right across many, many areas, not just the event itself."

Ryan also said organizers of major events should consider screening spectators before they get on mass transportation.

"How do we actually screen those people? We've already had attacks on the London Underground system and it could happen again at any time," he said, referring to the July 2005 suicide attacks that killed 52 commuters on three subway trains and a bus.

"Quite often in planning, where I think we've got it wrong is to where we actually put pedestrian screening," Ryan said. "They're too close to the venue."

Although still more than five years away, planning for the Games began the moment London was successful in its bid to be host, and Commander Mick Johnson, of the Met’s dedicated Olympic team (CO12) will be able to call on the Computer-Aided Modelling Bureau(CAMB). They use three-dimensional computer models of crime scenes in London. They are said to play a significant role in modern-day policing, and their work is also used to plan major events and support police raids.

They are being used for 'pre-operational' planning for the Games. The CAMB team’s work is a major part of the early planning for the
Games. It’s working to acquire computer-generated 3D models of all the Olympic venues.

“Our first task has been to contact architects, planners, builders, the venues – everyone involved – to get hold of as many plans and as much information about the locations and structures as we can,” explains Tony Martin, a member of the CAMB team. “We then need to co-ordinate this technical and structural information with the policing and security plans.

This involves liaising with all manner of other agencies, and collecting information from the other emergency services.” The images and models that are being created will allow anyone involved with the operation to drag up details and to-scale images of any area – that’s any tier of a stadium, any gangway, any entrance – at the Olympic sites.

“Those plans will be used for security purposes, to co-ordinate resources and to see which officers are closest to an emergency, should one occur. We need to have people in the right places, and the way to do that is to take a close look at what we are dealing with,” Tony adds.

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