Andy Lampard, National Retail Accounts Manager, MITIE writes exclusively for Infologue.com regarding the increased security during the Olympics. Andy writes
“During this year’s London Olympics, I led a team from MITIE’s Total Security Management (TSM) business to provide increased security for the flagship Marks & Spencer (M&S) store in Stratford, east London.
“The proximity of the Games to the store meant that the store was faced with a number of major challenges.
“This was primarily driven by the upsurge in footfall from 136,000 to 265,000 people every day, which increased the likelihood of shoplifting and the need for greater crowd control.
“Additionally, because the Games were such a major international event, the threat of terrorism was much higher, meaning extra special precautions had to be made.
“We had to ensure we could effectively secure the full 138,000 square feet of the store, located over four floors, from both traditional security threats as well as terrorism.
“Our strategy involved implementing a comprehensive security plan, from provision of on-the-ground staff to liaising with national organisations, which met the full spectrum of challenges.
“In addition to increasing manpower and crowd control, we began daily liaisons with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to keep its intelligence up-to-date.
“We also received daily intelligence updates from Olympics Security Command Room (OSCR) based in Aylesbury, its dedicated security centre.
“During the Olympics period, I wanted to ensure that at least one member of the team was present every day at the OSCR. This meant that when issues arose they were dealt with seamlessly and in conjunction with M&S. This was only conducted during the Olympics. During the Paralympics this was carried out remotely.
“I also ensured there was a permanent management presence in store, including over weekends which allowed increased flexibility as and when incidents arose.
“The store supervisor personally took charge of briefing 500 M&S staff members and continued communication with my team, which allowed them to focus on other areas.
“As a total security management business, we regularly handle medium to large events year on year, however the Olympics was another scale for all involved. From the post Olympics debrief, it was evident that all duties had been carried out and all members of the team had gone above and beyond to ensure successful delivery.”
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