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Wednesday, June 06, 2012


the papers are reporting that the security services are doing background checks on everyone who is going to be working or competing at the olympics. as if it is news. i suppose one of the things they seem to be saying is 'isn't it a bit close to the games to be doing this?' well not really as they are still just about employing the last large tranche of people to work the event.

sadly i am not one of those who will be working there.

i know two people who will be working at the olympic park - and they only just recently signed on to do their jobs. so it is not like they could have been checked in advance.
the same goes for the competitors - a lot of them are still trying to see if they can actually make the grade (except of course the saudi women's team that has already been decided - they are staying at home).

probably the biggest area of concern is going to be over those employed (or being offered work placements) as security guards and crowd control marshals. not because they are likely to be some mad crazed terrorist ready to destroy all and sundry at the drop of a hat, but because they will have received little or minimal training.
many of the east london joncentres were offering security guard work at the olympic park and because of the numbers needed they  necessity to have a security industry (sia) licence has been waivered.
we have seen with the recent hoohah at the jubilee over the treatment from 'close protection' of their staff on work placements to see that some of the companies who are going to be involved in the olympic security that training and staff welfare is not top of their list.
most of us have had a run in with overly officious security guards who think their uniform makes them important when they are not - expect to hear quite a lot of that during the olympics - especially when it comes to the rules as to what you can and can't take into the olympic venues.

according to one report only 100 people have been rejected so far.
some see this as being very much a case of closing the door after the horse has bolted type thing - when really all it is saying is two things - firstly that most people in the country are not interested in harming anyone else in the country and all they want to do is get their heads down and do a job to put food on their plates. secondly that any terrorist organisation isn't going to use someone who would fail to be vetted - if they did then they are not very good (which we hope is the case).

there is no question that the olympics is going to be a very tempting target and there is no doubt that the security services are going to be doing their utmost to make sure that any plans to make it a target are thwarted.

in this case the media wants it both ways - they want to complain that the checks that are being done are being done so close to the event, but they also want to be able to complain that security is lax (expect a 'bomb hoax scandal' to appear in the sun any time soon).
the reality is checks will have to be made right up until the start of the games and those that wish the games harm are not going to fall foul of those checks.

what is going to exercise most people is whether or not the tubes will be running in order for them to get to the games on time.

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