The most important time of this year is nearly upon us. The Olympic Games opening cermony on the 27th of July will mark the beginning of the 30th Olympic Games, this year hosted in London. This is London’s third Olympic Games previously hosted in 1908 and 1948. Interestingly the Games have been cancelled on three occasions unfortunately due to the first and second World Wars in 1916, 1940 and 1944.
With over 175,000 people expected to pass through the Olympic Stadiums throughout the 17 day event security is the question on everyone’s lips. Over the past few days worries have been put forward about the state of security surrounding the Games. Unfortunately we live in a time where terrorism is at the forefront of everybody’s minds thus a high standard of security measures should be practised before, during and after the Games.
It was only two weeks ago when six men were arrested and held over a suspected terror plot in Stratford, East London over a mile away from the Olympic site. Although the terrorist plot was not linked to the Olympics and the threat was not thought to be imminent it was revealed however that the threat to the UK from International terrorism is currently rated substantial, being the 3rd highest of 5 levels, this rating is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre based at MI5’s headquarters at Thames House in central London.
More strategies need to be put in place to develop a high level of security during the Olympic Games however this security should be at a high level all year around considering the terrifying statistic of the UK being at a constant threat from International terrorism.
In the last few days UK Border Agency has being under scrutiny for cutting staff too quickly and are now having to hire extra people to deal with the over flow of passengers entering the UK throughout the Olympic Games starting with the athletes which have started to arrive since Monday the 16th of July. More than 1,000 jobs were cut last year and since then performance has dropped and there is little evidence of strong leadership needed to resolve the problems. To deal with the quantity of passengers US security agents are to be based at Heathrow Airport and other UK airports for the duration of the Games. Private contractor G4S for the Olympics has already been under close examination after extra soldiers and police officers had to be drafted in to fill the void left by G4S. This can’t be acceptable in the current society we live in. Airport security should always have the highest level of security and border control to avoid the threat of terrorism.
Unfortunately there isn’t just a problem with security prior to the Games. The M4 motorway had to be closed for a week due to damages. The motorway which runs through West London had to be closed between Junctions 2 and 3 after cracks were discovered on a viaduct, much to the frustration of commuters. The M4 is the main route from London to Heathrow Airport and the West of England, this motorway is expected to be the busiest routes throughout the Games because it links London and the Olympic Park in Stratford with the UK’s busiest airport Heathrow. However all is not lost engineers working on the cracks have successfully completed the ‘complex job’ and the motorway has reopened a week and a half before the opening ceremony, all is not lost.
Monday the 16th of July marked the beginning of athletes and officials arriving in London and making their way to the Olympic Villages 11 days before the opening ceremony. This has also began work in the labs, where over 6,ooo drugs tests will be conducted. Yesterday marked an historic day when Heathrow Airport welcomed a record breaking amount of passengers travelling through the UK’s busiest airport. 236,955 passengers were expected to travel through the airport on Monday the 16th of July which marks the beginning of the busy period for UK airports with both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games being held in London this year.
All that’s left for us to do is to sit back, relax, wave your national flag with pride and support your own nations competitors in what will surely be a very exciting and gripping 17 days. And one can only hope that all the problems endured by London in the days leading up to the Games are all dealt with and it’s all plain sailing from here….