Video: Fortress London: UK protects Olympics with biggest security plan since World War II
LONDON -- The biggest peacetime security operation in Britain’s history is under way – an $877-million civilian and military plan to protect athletes and visitors from threats ranging from suicide bombers to organized criminals.
But it has also turned some London streets into military zones and Olympic venues into fortresses.
A simple glance at the main Olympic Park in East London confirms this will be the most security-conscious Games in history: More than 11 miles of razor-wire-topped electric fencing separates the site from its surroundings, every entrance is guarded by soldiers and the surrounding streets and shopping malls are patrolled by police carrying 9mm semi-automatic weapons – an unusual sight in Britain, where armed patrols are normally found only at airports.
On the busiest days, 12,500 police officers will be on duty while 12,200 soldiers will carry out the venue security searches assisted by at least 7,000 contracted civilian security workers. A further 5,500 troops will be involved in military operations outside the site. (...)