'Ring of steel' plan for Games security

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

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Games organisers have promised a "ring of steel" round the venues

More than 1000 troops will be deployed on the streets of Glasgow as part of a £90million 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 17 private security firms.

At a security briefing in the city yesterday, police revealed seven years of meticulous planning that has gone into the operation.

In a stark warning to criminals planning to ­hijack the Games, Deputy Chief Constable Steve ­Allen, said: "Don't - we're ready for you.

"And there is only one way it will end: you will face the full consequences of the criminal justice system."

Security bosses are prepared for any VIPs who may attend this summer's events, but could not confirm if the Queen would be coming to Glasgow.

DCC Allen, Security ­Director for the Games, ­revealed police will be ­supported by military personnel, British Transport Police, Scottish Prison Service, and private contract security guards.

He told the Evening Times police officers will work extended shifts over the 11-day event and all leave has 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," DCC Allen 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: "The public can expect to see unformed military and police when they arrive at venues.

"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 as a result of "key ­lessons learned" from the London Olympics.

Security staff working at the Commonwealth Games will have SIA accreditation.

Stewards will have either two of the available industry standards (SVQ2/ NVQ2) or AUSSE or an agreed level of competency.

DCC Allen, Gold Commander for the Games, said: "Planning for the safety and security operation has taken place over the past seven years.

"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.

"Police officers, private contract security staff and safety stewards and ­military personnel will all be working together to keep people safe before and ­during the games."

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."

DCC 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."

rebecca.gray@eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

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