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British official announces measures to enhance security for Olympics

01-26-2012 08:49 BJT

LONDON, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- British Home Secretary Theresa May announced on Wednesday that she had ordered special measures to be taken to prevent protesters from setting up camps at Olympic venues before and during the Games, which is scheduled to start at the end of July.

"We are also helping the police and the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to deal with emerging threats that have faced the Home Office in recent months, such as encampment protests," May told an audience of experts at an one-day conference on Olympic security held at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in central London.

"We have recently clarified and strengthened our policy on encampment style protests inside Olympic venues," May said, adding that she expected the LOCOG to add tents and camping equipment to the list of banned items for Olympic venues.

A spokeswoman for the LOCOG said it would mull over May's suggestion.

"It's a question of prohibited and restricted items, of course it's not necessarily that a tent should be prohibited, it's not quite like a gun, it depends on how a person will use it. We will have discussions on that, and we will certainly work closely with the police and other agencies," the spokeswoman told Xinhua over phone.

May also highlighted threats from cyber crimes.

"We are aware of the threat from so called 'hacktivist' groups. These groups may attempt to target the Games and may also attack the websites of high-profile sponsors associated with the Games," she said.

She said the government had "robust plans" in place to deal with a cyber attack against Games systems.

Security operations for the London Olympics would begin on May 19, when the Olympic torch began its 70-day journey around Great Britain, and would run through until after the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

In addition to the main Games site in east London, other Olympic venues which would get special protection included sailing in Dorset, rowing in Buckinghamshire, canoe slalom in Hertfordshire; mountain biking in Essex, road cycling in Surrey, and paralympic road cycling at Brands Hatch in Kent.

Protection would also be provided at Olympic football matches taking place in Coventry, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Wembley.

May said the security operation would be the largest ever peace time logistical operation in Britain and would involve hundreds of thousands of police officer deployed across the country at 36 competition venues.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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