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Security at 2012 Games: Costs could be kept down by tapping into London’s business expertise

Today (15 January) Tarique Ghaffur, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner and Olympic Security Co-ordinator, was quizzed on security arrangements at the 2012 Games by London Assembly members.

Speaking on this morning’s London Assembly Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee question session, London First Executive Director for Safer Business Richard Bingley, who leads on pan-London security issues, said:

“Whether we increase or decrease security, spending is not necessarily the right focus. What is most critical is that money and resources are targeted in an effective, practical and operationally sensible way.

“We must resist focusing on financial headline figures or talking ourselves into a public spending race, comparing how much other cities spent on the Olympics.  London is unique in having on our own doorstep a wealth of private sector operational expertise in security and resilience. This talent is often exported overseas.  Tapping into such expertise could greatly help Olympic organisers drive down costs on this iconic project.”

In December 2007, it was reported that policing for the 2012 Games was expected to rise by £238m to £838m.
In addition, £354m had been set aside for the security of the Olympic Park during the construction phase.  This allocation is becoming increasingly controversial, with the bulk of GLA member questions this morning expressing concern at burgeoning police and security costs.

Notes to Editors

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.

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