Olympics: 2012 security budget doubled

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The security budget for the 2012 London Olympics has doubled, a government report showed Monday.

The operation to provide security at more than 100 venues has swollen after a decision to recruit and train almost 14,000 more personnel, the December 2011 Olympic Quarterly Economic Report showed.

The report stressed that the increase was not in response to a specific security threat.

The overall budget for the Games remains at £9.3 billion ($14.5 billion, 10.8 billion euros), with £528 million so far unspent.

The security cost has risen to £553 million, the figures from July to September showed, up £282 million on the 2010 spending review baseline.

Instead of the 10,000 security officers initially planned for, there will now be 23,700, with the majority coming from a private firm. The military and volunteers will make up the rest.

The government and Games organisers have now gone through a detailed analysis of the number of security staff needed, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said.

"As a result, to ensure a safe and secure Games, they have revised the numbers of trained staff required.

"We are therefore investing additional funds in providing nearly 24,000 venue security personnel plus specialist security equipment."

The report said: "The increase in security guard numbers is not in response to any specific security threat."

© 2011 AFP

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