Tents and encampments banned from Olympics

 

Almost 100 people have been arrested ahead of the Olympics and all tents and encampments will be banned from the Games, the Home Secretary said today.

Theresa May said police and security teams were preparing for "all eventualities" and work was continuing behind the scenes.

With the Games six months away, Mrs May said she was confident police were taking a "robust attitude" to organised crime.

"The operation has already made nearly 100 arrests of organised criminals attempting to target the Games," she said.

A total of 97 arrests have been made as part of the national Operation Podium, including alleged ticket touts, people setting up bogus websites, and those accused of selling bogus hotel rooms.

"Police are sending a very clear message that we're not going to tolerate intrusions by organised criminals into the Olympic Games," she said.

"We are also helping the police and (organisers) Locog to deal with the other emerging threats that have faced the Home Office in recent months, such as encampment protests."

Strict security and screening measures will help stop any tents being taken into venues and organisers and police will respond rapidly to any incidents, she said.

"What I think is right is that we make plans for all eventualities. I can assure you the Metropolitan Police do have a robust attitude."

Efforts to stop St Paul's Cathedral-style protest camps and disruptive rallies at the Games have already been given "careful consideration," according to London 2012.

Lists of restricted items such as tents or large flags which could be used to disrupt other people's enjoyment of the Games or mar their view are likely to be published with the next tranche of tickets sales in April.

A gun would be part of the prohibited list.

So an army of protesters with placards or tents would be encouraged to leave.

A London 2012 spokesman said: "The conditions of entry for spectators are clearly stated in our ticketing terms and conditions and entitle us to prohibit items from being brought into venues and to remove persons from venues where necessary.

"This is to ensure that sport can continue and be enjoyed by all.

"We are also taking steps to ensure we can take speedy legal action to protect our rights.

"We will continue to work closely with the police and other agencies on our policies and plans for preventing and if necessary addressing encampments and other disruption to the Games."

Plans to tackle the key security concerns of terrorism, crime, protests and acts of God have all been drawn up, according to Commander Bob Broadhurst.

Noting that London is "no stranger" to terror attacks, he said that a counter-terrorism operation would be in place.

He told a London security conference: "The impact would be huge but the likelihood is actually very, very low."

Of would-be protesters, he said: "We have no plans whatsoever to stop protests. We are proud of freedom of speech - that will continue but the Games must go on.

"I have to balance the rights of protesters and people who want to go to the Games.

"I am asking protest groups if you want to protest come to us.

"We can manage protests but we need to talk."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'