Hugh Robertson, the Minister for the Olympics, spent last night assuring representatives from 200 countries that security plans for next year's Games will prove adequate in the wake of rioting across London and in areas around the main Olympic Park.
Chefs de mission from most competing nations' National Olympic Committees are in London for a scheduled briefing, as is Denis Oswald, the International Olympic Committee official charged with overseeing the delivery of the Games. Robertson (above) is adamant that the plan drawn up by the Metropolitan Police and security advisers is robust enough and would cope were there to be trouble this time next year.
Robertson said: "If it looks like happening in a year's time, I suspect the response from this year's events will be tough enough to deter people from doing it again. We are absolutely sure [that everything's been done]. The security planning for the Olympics has been incredibly detailed and complex and has been worked through and exercised. The crucial components are that we have a really robust, intelligence-led, risk-based approach modelled against the most severe conditions possible. There is no better guarantee.
"We have a commitment to deliver a safe and secure Games and we will do so. All the evidence shows this trouble is low-level criminality driven by messages on social networks and not some new, emerging security threat."
Robertson backed the decision to cancel England's friendly against the Netherlands but does not see it as a course of action that might have to be repeated next year. Around 12,000 police officers are scheduled to be on duty daily in the capital throughout the Games.
The police officer in charge of Games security, Chris Allison, said that planning would be routinely reviewed. "Obviously, in light of the appalling events in London we will review our planning to ensure that any lessons are identified," Allison said. "But first, we must fully establish the circumstances of what has happened."
The IOC released a statement backing the plans London's Games authorities have in place. It said: "Security at the Olympic Games is a top priority for the IOC. It is, however, directly handled by the local authorities, as they know best what is appropriate and proportionate. We are confident they will do a good job in this domain."Reuse content