Chris Allison - 100 days to go, 18 April 2012
From today, Wednesday 18 April, there are only 100 days until the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games. As the National Olympic Security Coordinator (NOSC), I am confident that we are in a good place, thanks to the professionalism and commitment of the British police service and our partners.
We have been planning since we won the bid in 2005 and have made incredible progress towards what will be our biggest ever pre-planned policing operation. By using tried and tested ways of working we will deliver my priority; a robust yet discrete policing operation, which first and foremost allows the 2012 Games to be a celebration of sport and culture.
As the Games draw nearer, we are increasingly moving into the operational phase. National structures are in place to coordinate across safety and security partners, not least the National Olympic Coordination Centre (NOCC). This unique multi-agency facility, based at New Scotland Yard, gives us the necessary coordination to provide me with the information I need to keep government and partners briefed, to support Gold Commanders nationally and to coordinate our response to the challenges of the Games. The Olympic Intelligence Centre, another national function for the Games, continues to manage intelligence, so we are best able to respond to any emerging threat, locally and nationally, which may challenge us. Our planning has been to a level which gives us flexibility and scalability, no matter the threat, be it crime, terrorism, public order or natural hazard.
The sporting venues are near completion and the 12 forces which will police them, together with British Transport Police, have developed their own local operations. We are working closely with the Games organisers, LOCOG, to ensure a seamless security operation which is effective yet not oppressive. I praise the work of colleagues who have responded to the challenge by developing local plans which are detailed, robust and nationally consistent.
Most importantly, we are nearing our final understanding as to the resourcing challenge, and the logistics required, of what will be our largest ever deployment. With over 12,000 police officers keeping the Games safe nationally on peak days, the police service has responded to the unique requirement. Every force in the country is playing its part and has committed to supply officers to ensure we have the right skilled and trained officers in the right place to keep the Games safe.
A fair and proportionate approach has been taken to resource planning across all forces, taking into account local capacity, capability and local events, while also being sure that every force retains the capacity to continue to deliver core policing for our wider communities. This has been a huge challenge and is great testimony to the professionalism of the service, working together to meet the extraordinary demand, putting the national need ahead of localism.
Throughout the entire UK, colleagues from the emergency services and all our local partners have worked together to prepare for the Olympic Torch Relay, which will begin its epic journey in just a matter of weeks on 18 May. We have strong regional commands in place, a well-trained Met-led Torch Relay Security Team and the final local preparations are now being made. There will inevitably be unexpected disruptions and challenges, but it is through effective local planning and partnership working that we will be successful.
All of the progress I describe is the result of incredible teamwork, dedicated officers and staff across all forces and partners involved and I am proud to say I have seen the British police at its best. With just 100 days to go, I am confident that we will deliver a truly once-in-a-lifetime event, showcasing Britain and the police service to the world.