Countdown to the Olympics Nov 2010

In his second article for the BSIA’s Director responsible for the Olympics continues his Countdown to the Olympics exclusively on;

“In my first article for Infologue I described how the security planning for the 2012 Games sat within the UK’s Counter Terrorist Strategy, CONTEST, and how industry was recognised as an essential partner in that strategy.  The move to making that partnership a reality was the formation of the UK Security & Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC) in 2007.  This brought together the three major industry trade associations – BSIA, Intellect and ADS together with major industrialists and academia to work with Government through the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) on a number of issues. CONTEST is a multi-agency strategy driven by the OSCT and in its links with the OSCT, RISC (and thereby industry) is drawn into closer and trusted relationships with other government departments; in particular the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure, ACPO TAM (Terrorism and Allied Matters), National Counter Terrorism and Security Office (NaCTSO), and the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB). As industry works more closely with these bodies so it becomes a more trusted and valued partner.  It is the development of these links that has led to the BSIA running regular industry leader briefings so that its members can benefit from meeting and being briefed by the senior management teams in these bodies.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games were awarded to London on the 6th July 2005 at a meeting of the IOC in Singapore.  The submission by London is often referred to as ‘The Singapore Bid’. Within the bid document is a chapter detailing the security plan for the Games and within that plan are the following words which affect the private security industry:

The UK’s anti-terrorism priorities are to:

  • Safeguard the public and minimise disruption to normal daily life
  • Enable the UK Government and the private sector to protect against and respond effectively to terrorist threats.

Private sector responsibilities will include:

  • Security controls at Olympic venues
  • Provision of spectator services staff
  • Access control and ‘mag-and-bag’ searches.

The national policing response will be supported by, and work in partnership with, the private security industry. Current estimates suggest 6,500 private security staff would be required. We are already working with our private security colleagues and have established that this figure is within the capabilities of their industry.

The ‘eagle-eyed’ amongst you will immediately question “national policing response will be supported by, and work in partnership with, the private security industry” as ‘partnership’ between the private security industry and the police is the exception rather than the rule in the UK. Equally the statement that “this figure (6,500 private security staff )is within the capabilities of their industry” will have you spluttering “Who told them that!”

“The Singapore Bid document is like any other bid document – once accepted, it is a contract and protected by law.  In this instance the Customer is the IOC and the Contractor is the UK Government.  Any variance to that contract has to be agreed by both parties. The Guarantor of the Security section of the bid is the Home Secretary.  Responsibility for ensuring that the security element of the bid is met in full has been delegated within the Home Office to the OSCT whose Director General is the designated Senior Responsible Owner (SRO).  The SRO in Government terms means the individual responsible for ensuring that a project meets its objectives. The SRO chairs the Olympic Security Board which provides the oversight, strategic co-ordination and monitoring of the entire Games project. Sitting above the SRO and the Olympic Security Board is the Ministerial Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development Sub-Committee on Protective Security and Resilience known as NSID(PSR) which is chaired by the Home Secretary and brings together the most senior representatives of the UK’s security and resilience departments and agencies.

“The placing of responsibility for the safety and security of the Games with the OSCT recognises that terrorism is seen as the biggest threat to the Games and that threat assessment is informed by the Security Service’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).  Thus the UK’s counter terrorism strategy CONTEST becomes the over-arching strategy for the Games within which the Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy fits. Responsibility for implementing the strategy for the Games lies with the OSCT’s Olympic Security Directorate(OSD) whose Director of Safety and Security reports directly to the SRO. The OSD is comprised of all the agencies responsible for delivery of safety and security and it is co-located with LOCOG, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the Olympic Policing Co-ordination Team (OPC).  This single strategy and close working relationship between all bodies is ensuring that safety and security for the Games is being delivered in the best and most cost effective way for one of the most complex security programmes that have ever been undertaken.  The legacy from such planning is having, and will have, a significant impact on all aspects of public and private security planning and delivery for many years to come. Capturing that legacy within the private sector will have tremendous commercial value within the UK and overseas markets.

“A planning principle in the Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy is that:

‘The Strategy will require close co-operation with industry and the private security sector across a range of issues. Communicating the strategy to these sectors, and providing a clear statement of co-ordinated and consistent capability requirements, will both be vital.’

In my next article I will begin to show how LOCOG, the ODA and OSD are organised and how that affects and brings opportunity to the private security industry and how the BSIA is working to influence planning to the benefit of the industry and delivery of the security strategy.”

BSIA Website