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Lord West Address to Security Industry Representatives on Securing the Olympic Games

The Home Office : 01 March, 2010  (Company News)
Olympic Games Security for the 2012 event in London was the theme of the Olympic Security Minister at an address made to the security industry in Westminster
Olympic Security Minister Lord West spoke to representatives from the security industry on Wednesday 24th February at the Securing the Games event organised by RISC and ADS in Westminster.

This was an opportunity to update the industry on the progress made since last year's event.

Lord West said: "I am delighted at the positive way in which industry is engaging with the Programme, it is essential the experience and expertise that exists in the Private Sector does not go to waste as we plan for 2012.

Procurement from the private sector to make the Games safe and secure will focus on tried and tested approaches in the first instance, and there is also a huge role for them to play in providing assurance when we move into testing and exercising. I look forward to building a longer-term partnership with industry for the success of the broader CONTEST strategy beyond the Olympics."

Speaking at the same event:

Robert Raine, Director of Olympic Safety and Security at the Home Office said: "We're seeking to build on our dialogue with industry over the past twelve months. But we are operating in the context of an unmoveable deadline and tough fiscal climate.

'Any technology that our projects rely upon will have gone through a thorough testing phase before being put in place. We will be relying on tried and tested approaches, though we remain alert to changes in the risks we face and new, more effective ways of dealing with them. Our strategy could not be achieved without industry being supportive of it."

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, Metropolitan Police Service, Head of the ACPO Olympics Business Area and the National Olympic Security Coordinator come Games time, said: "We have made significant progress with our planning for the policing of the Olympic Games and central to our approach is integration. We will only succeed through close working across all the delivery bodies, and through an equally strong relationship with industry.

"With a deadline that cannot be changed and a need for real value for money, we will be using established products and making use of existing relationships, when possible, to achieve our aims.

"Strong engagement over the coming two years will enable us to deliver opportunities to industry whilst ensuring that we deliver a safe and secure Games in a manner that ensures that people remember for the magnificent sporting occasion that it is."

Securing the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: A Partnership with Industry - One Year On: Lord West of Spithead, Olympic Security Minister

Good evening everyone. I am delighted to be here in Westminster Central Hall this evening at this event, hosted by our friends at ADS. This event also underlines the benefits of our relationship with RISC and all its members, whose ongoing support is very welcome.

I'm also pleased that I have the opportunity to welcome such a large number of our partners from industry to this event. I think, at last count, over 230 of you are here.

It is also my pleasure as the Minister responsible for Olympic Security, almost a year to the day after I last spoke to many of you at our event in Blackfriars, to say a few words to give you a brief update on the progress we have made and how you have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to this progress.

Since I spoke to you last, the clock in the reception of our offices at 1 Churchill Place which marks how long we have until the start of the Games has ticked down from 1269 days to 884 days. The start of the Games is now looking much closer.

But we've done an awful lot while that clock has ticked down. And our confidence that Olympic and Paralympic Games will be safe and secure has grown as a result. As I said last year, this is not to be complacent. But it is to recognise the huge efforts of everyone involved, across Government, in LOCOG and the ODA, in our delivery partners and you yourselves in industry.

The most visible aspect of this is this amazing progress has been the Olympic Park itself. Anyone who's visited Stratford over the past year, as I have, will have seen and been impressed by just how much the Olympic Delivery Authority has done. Now that the outside of the stadium looks almost complete and the roof of the stunning swimming pool has been added, we can all get a real sense of how the Park will look and feel in just over two years' time.

And our Protect team has been working closely with the ODA over this time to ensure that safety and security is at the heart of how these venues have been built.

But there has also been progress, perhaps less visible but equally remarkable, throughout the Olympic Safety and Security Programme, under the leadership of Robert Raine.

The development of the Programme itself, in line with the cross Government strategy we finalised this time last year, has been formidable. Working with our partners across Whitehall, the Police, LOCOG, the ODA and others, we now have 26 projects up and running across our Protect, Prepare, Identify & Disrupt, C2PR and Engage Programmes.

We have also controlled costs with our £600 million budget for policing and wider security by focussing very clearly on the need to show value for money, being clear on our priorities and building effectively on what we already do well, particularly in other parts of our CONTEST strategy and the core activities of the police and other emergency services.

Furthermore, we have built up very effective links with our partners. Chris Allison, whose appointment last year as Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for the Games and also as National Olympic Security Co-ordinator I particularly welcome, and who will speak to you later this evening, and visited Vancouver with Robert Raine earlier this month to work alongside their Canadian colleagues who are delivering safety and security for the Winter Games. And, in doing so, they have learnt some very useful lessons from them, for example in the possible nature of the risk from public protest, as well as the tangible benefits that arise from the integration of security partners, which will be invaluable in how we plan for 2012.

On the theme of working in partnership, we have sought to ramp up how we work with you over the course of the last twelve months. We've now got an Olympics Industry Advisory Group up and running under the co-chairmanship of Robert and David Evans Olympics Programme Manager from BSIA. This IAG, formed as an integral part of RISC, the UK Security and Resilience Suppliers Industry Council, brings together a range of voices across industry, and is supported by a range of activity delivered through our Olympics Industry Project. I strongly encourage you to engage with the IAG through your trade bodies.

The challenges we will face in 2012 have become even clearer since I last spoke to you. And we've been thinking through some of these issues with our partners in industry. For example, we need to ensure that there's sufficient capacity in the security industry to meet what will be a challenging demand in 2012. This has led to us working in partnership to tackle this, for example through the Bridging the Gap project, which brings together the Home Office, LOCOG, the further education sector and industry in increase the capacity in time for the Games.

Although it is fair to say that procurement from the private sector to make the Games safe and secure will focus on tried and tested approaches in the first instance, there is a much broader picture here: we want to build a longer-term partnership with industry for our broader CONTEST work.

We also want to make sure that we do not let the experience and expertise that exists in the Private Sector, and within this room, go to waste as we plan for 2012. Bridging the Gap provides a good example of where this experience has identified a potential problem and allowed for an innovative and collaborative solution to be developed.

I wanted to leave you with the final thought that the partnership that we have with you, not just on the Olympics, but across the range of our work on security and counter-terrorism, is something I personally value very highly. And I hope that the dialogue that we have on the Olympics will provide the basis of a lasting legacy for a close partnership long after 2012.

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