• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Ring of steel at Games venues

SOLDIERS, police, and prison officers will form a "ring of steel" around Commonwealth Games venues in a bid to stop any pot­ential terrorist attack.

More than 1000 troops will be deployed on the streets of ­Glasgow as part of a £90 million security plan for the massive sporting event.

Sports fans face "airport-style" searches by uniformed personnel to stop attempts to smuggle devices into the sites.

As many as 1100 military personnel will assist thousands of police security guards inside the Commonwealth venues, with more officers on the streets outside.

Glasgow 2014 said a huge multi-agency operation, dubbed Project Servator, would involve military personnel and 17 private security firms.

At a security briefing yesterday, police said seven years of planning had gone into the operation.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve ­Allen, security director for the Games, said police will be ­supported by military personnel, British Transport Police, Scottish Prison Service, and private contract security guards. He said police officers will work extended shifts over the 11-day event and all leave had been cancelled.

"When the public arrive at the security perimeter at venues, they will be met by uniformed services, including the military, police and prison staff," he said.

"That will be the first contact at venues. We will be using our full range of capabilities to keep people safe."

His comments were ­echoed by David Leather, Glasgow 2014 Chief Operating Officer, who added: "Glasgow 2014 is the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever hosted, it will be a special time and we want people to enjoy their experience as much as possible. We are confident that the approach being taken regarding both security and safety stewarding will play a positive role in the delivery of a safe and secure Games we can be proud of."

Organisers said 17 private security firms, including G4S, have been brought in as a result of "key lessons learned" from the London Olympics.

Security staff working at the Commonwealth Games will have Security Industry Authority (SIA) accreditation.

Mr Allen, Gold Commander for the Games, said: "It's an operation unprecedented in scale in terms of the resources needed to ­ensure the games run safely and securely across all aspects of the event."

Military deployment will see around 900 staff provided by the Army, with just under 300 each from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Brigadier Paul Harkness, Commander 51 Infantry Brigade said: "Headquarters 51st Infantry Brigade will be responsible for the Regulars and Reserves from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force in providing the Military Venue Security Force and Ceremonial support to what we know will be a fortnight of exciting international sport.

"All involved are very much looking forward to being part of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."

Mr Allen said officers were aware of the potential criminal and terrorist threats to the Games, but stressed there was no ­specific threat. He added: "And there is one more critical safety and security team asset - the public.

"The success of the safety and security operation will be achieved with their support and I would ask them to remain vigilant and alert."

Meanwhile, it has been announced by Veterans Minister Keith Brown that 200 Commonwealth Games tickets will be given to former armed forces personnel.

The Scottish Government is giving tickets to veterans as part of the Legacy Ticket scheme which aims to secure a legacy for communities and provide an opportunity for people to go to the Games.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

236913