OLYMPIC SECURITY ROUNDUP
Security at the Olympics in London was a headline issue in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremony last week, with virtually every media outlet on Earth running stories about the woes of G4S and the arrival of the army.
US presidential candidate Mitt Romney then added fuel to the fire when he suggested on US television that these security concerns could put the London games at risk. His comment went over like a lead zeppelin in Britain, with Prime Minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson and others heaping not-so-diplomatic scorn on Romney, who has since recanted on his Olympic comments.
Since the Games actually got underway last Friday there have been a few reported security mishaps. For example:
- A cast member of the opening ceremony somehow wound up walking with the Indian teamduring the opening ceremony. The Indian Olympic Committee blamed lax security for the embarrassing incident. “How did they allow her in? It was a security lapse. Nobody knows who she was,” IOA vice president Tarlochan Singh told Reuters.
- Security lost the keys to Wembley Stadium – one of the most prestigious stadia in the world – when trying to do a routine check. “There is absolutely no security concern in relation to the stadium as measures were taken immediately to secure all key areas of the venue,” police said in a statement.
- A private security guard is alleged to have verbally abused a member of the British military brought in to back-fill the G4S gaps. The Independent is reporting that the guard spat at the soldier and called him a “baby killer” in reference to the latter’s tour of duty in Afghanistan. A G4S spokesperson said the private company is “urgently investigating claims of an altercation between a security officer and a soldier”
- Police arrested more than 180 protesters on bicycles who broke through a security cordon during the opening ceremony. Four people have been charged with various offences stemming from the incident.
Veridin will keep an eye on security matters at the Olympics for the balance of the Games. So stay tuned, and stay safe.