Olympic and paralympic exercise programme to test government readiness

Theresa May
Theresa May

A comprehensive programme of exercises to test the government, police and other key agencies’ readiness for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May today.

With a year to go until the games begin, the Home Office, supported by DCMS, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), the police and other partners, have developed a bespoke programme of exercises ranging from table top discussions to live play exercises.

Our exercises will test how those involved will manage the unprecedented nature and scale of the games which involves multiple sporting events and parallel celebrations, often taking place at the same time in different parts of the country

They will test all aspects of games-time planning at all levels, including their effectiveness, resilience and the decision-making capability of key games-time structures.

These exercises will test a range of scenarios that could impact on the smooth running of the games such as long queues or crowds at Olympic and Paralympic venues, transport disruption and a terrorist attack. The exercises will test how government departments, police and emergency services respond, how they work together, how they work with the games organiser and how information is shared with the public.

The exercise programme includes three strategic command post exercises and one live exercise that will run in September and December this year and in spring 2012. These are supported by a wide range of local level and table-top exercises, and workshops.

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

‘This programme of exercises will play a key role in helping deliver our commitment of a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic games.’

‘We have a robust safety and security strategy. The testing of our plans, structures and responses to ensure they can deal with any incident is vital. It is important we learn lessons ahead of the games.’

‘I want to reassure everyone that with a year to go we will leave nothing to chance in our plans to deliver a games that London, the UK and the whole world will enjoy.’

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison National Olympic Security Coordinator said:

‘Years of experience have proven to us time and time again that testing and exercising our plans is vital to smooth partnership working and providing the most effective response for the public.’

‘With new structures and new partners to work with during games-time never before has a testing and exercising programme been more important. We will take every opportunity we can to learn together to make sure our operation in 2012 is the best it can be.’

‘This exercise programme builds on the early testing that has taken place as the games-time plans have been developed. It will work alongside the LOCOG test event programme. It is in addition to the ongoing exercising programme that takes place across all levels of government and emergency services every year to test incident responses.’

Home Office Website