Up to 6,000 troops could be sent to Stratford, East London next summer to act as security guards during the London 2012 Olympics. The soldiers will provide support to the 12,000 extra police officers and private security guards already planned for the security of the event.
It was emerged that the manpower needed to cover next year’s Games had been underestimated and that the army is likely to have to step in and provide extra security. The organising committee (Locog) is currently talking to the Ministry of Defence in order to ensure that the army could be used to provide extra security around the Olympic Park. Private security guards will also be based in Stratford and other Olympics venues across London.
London’s organising committee has recently increased the number of security staff needed to manage the safety of the games from 15,000 to 20,000.
The MoD previously dismissed the idea that British troops could be used to provide security during the 2012 Games, at a time when defence resources were stretched by overseas missions. However, the MoD has recently reviewed its position and up to 6,000 soldiers will be involved in the security of the Games next summer.
Concerns over terrorism and visitors security have always been a priority in the planning process for the London Olympics.