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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee