Olympics: 2012 spectators face 20-minute queues

1st August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Sports fans heading to the 2012 London Games can expect to face airport-style search arches and an average 20-minute queue to get into Olympic venues, security chiefs said Monday.

Some 300 to 400 arches and X-ray machines could be in operation at the entry gates, said the Games' security and resilience director Ian Johnston.

Thousands more security cameras will be in use, he told a briefing.

"There is a different environment at each venue which means that queue times will vary from venue to venue," he said.

"We are looking in many places at minutes within single digits and a norm of around 20 minutes."

Likely queuing times will become clearer closer to the event, so spectators can plan their journeys.

"We are not committing to any numbers at this stage but clearly we will let people know," Johnston said.

"The challenge for us around queue times is that they will really be determined by when people turn up as well as a number of other factors."

There will be 12,000 officers on Olympic duty on peak days nationally with up to 9,000 in London.

Games organisers will handle security inside the fence, with an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 officials likely to be deployed by a private security firm.

The 2012 Games run from July 27 to August 12. The main Olympic park is in Stratford, east London, where a new main stadium, velodrome and aquatics centre have been built.

Chris Allison, the national Olympic security coordinator, has urged police chiefs around Britain to delay making cuts announced last year to their limited pool of officers with specialist skills to ensure there are enough available for the Games.

The police are not exempt from the spending cuts being ushered in by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government as Prime Minister David Cameron's administration tries to rein in Britain's record deficit.

Allison, assistant commissioner for London's Metropolitan Police, said his call had been met with a positive response and he was "satisfied" that the required skills could be provided by other forces.

© 2011 AFP

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