Organizers: Cuts won't harm London Games security

10:35, December 16, 2010      

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London 2012 Olympic chiefs said on Tuesday they were confident a safe Games could be delivered despite the prospect of a 20 percent cut in the security budget.

Policing Minister Nick Herbert said he expected the Olympic security budget to fall from a previous commitment of 600 million pounds ($952.2 million) to an estimated 475 million pounds through savings, "without creating additional risk".

The coalition government has made cuts across most departments to tackle a record peacetime budget deficit approaching 11 percent of national output.

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the organizing commitee, responsible for staging the Games, said the revised figure was the result of getting into the "nitty gritty" of what was needed.

"They are very focused on what the level of risk is and as a consequence will put in place the police support, the counter-espionage support," he said.

"All the work that goes on will be in response to their perception of the level of threat and what's needed to make it a safe and secure Games, and that is the driver."

He said he was confident risks were being covered, despite not being party to all intelligence.

When the former Labour government set out its Olympic Safety and Security Strategy, experts suggested anti-terrorism measures could push the bill towards 1.5 billion pounds.

The security budget for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics rose five times above its bid estimate.

London's original budget of 600 million pounds would still be available if required, Herbert said.

A further 280 million pounds were earmarked to secure venues across the country, taken from the overall 9.3 billion pounds Games budget.

Source:China Daily
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