THE SECURITY LEGACY OF A SECURE OLYMPICS
The dust has long-since settled and several London-based sports venues are assuming their post-Olympic lives. And with the glow of that excitement now dampened somewhat we can step back and think about the security legacy that will remain.
The situation didn’t look so rosy in the lead-up, of course, as private company G4S ran into significant personnel issues.
But organizers – and the military – rallied. In the end, IOC President Jacques Rogge called the London Games “happy and glorious”, and there wasn’t a significant security breach throughout the 17 days.
Unfortunately, things were neither happy nor glorious for two G4S executives who resigned late last month.
As reported by Info4Security, David Taylor-Smith, chief operating officer and regional CEO – UK and Africa, and Ian Horseman Sewell, managing director, G4S Global Events, resigned in the wake of aBoard-level review on the London Games security contract that found considerable failings in how G4S handled the contract it had signed to provide security in a very challenging environment.
For example, the report concedes that:
the monitoring and tracking of the security workforce, management information and the project management framework and practices were ineffective to address the scale, complexities and dependencies of the Olympic contract. Together this caused the failure of the company to deliver the contract requirements in full and resulted in the
Info4Security reports that Butler’s comments came when he was asked about the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.
Butler gave an example of how people on the lowest wages at the Olympics were bussed to venues and then sent away with nothing to do. While the majority of the mishaps of the Olympic security operation were down to the organization of G4S, he said that there are similar stories across the industry.
Butler also encouraged the industry to learn from the Olympic security operation, which LOCOG’s head of security described as having a 92% satisfaction rating earlier at the Global Security Summit.
In so doing Butler asked “Why was that a good experience?
“Why did it feel that different? And how can we repeat that? Because if we can repeat that, we can sell it and people will pay for it.”
Quite appropriately, the Global Security Summit was held in the London Olympia.
We imagine the area was secured rather nicely for the conference. As will all the Olympic venues for years to come.