The Frame Work
Outlined below is the detail of the overall structure of the Olympics policing operation.
The overall responsibility for the policing of the Olympics lies with the Office of Security & Counter Terrorism (OSCT).
In May 2009, the MPS appointed Chris Allison as Asst Commissioner (Central Operations and Olympics). This role incorporates the additional role of Head of ACPO Olympic Business Area (OBA), which transferred from CC Meredydd Hughes upon AC Allison’s selection.
ACPO OBA has been commissioned to deliver Olympic Security Planning and Resourcing. This consists of the ‘National Resource Requirement’ (NRR) project and the ‘Meeting Demand’ project.
The former involves the development of the operational planning framework and resourcing plans across the country to support the Strategy.
The latter provides the resources required to deliver those operational plans. The Federation has been invited to sit on the ‘Meeting Demand’ Project Board.
Where we are at
The collateral impact on UK policing as a result of Olympic activity is still being scoped, however planning is being based on:
- Core policing activity (“business as usual”)
- Olympic Venue Policing activity
- Torch Relay policing activity
- Cultural Olympiad
- Training Camps
- The Torch Relay is unusual in that it will be supported by a significant policing operation resourced by MPS, who will have responsibility for protecting the Torch at all times.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), who are responsible for running the events, will invite Local Authorities to bid for the Torch to visit their area. (There goes your Council Tax).
As part of this, the Local Authority will assume responsibility for the security operation along the route (i.e. not the protection of the Torch itself, but the associated crowd control and traffic management measures). They will no doubt be liaising with their local Chief Constables.
The Cultural Olympiad is described as ‘a rolling celebration of the Olympic ethic through various cultural events’ which began on 24th August 2008 and will reach a crescendo at the Closing Ceremony on 9th September 2012.
Potentially this is where Forces may struggle to resource policing should these events coincide with heavy commitment days to the actual Olympics.
Some of these events will be officially endorsed by LOCOG, who should assume responsibility for the main security arrangements (don’t laugh).
However many of the events will be unofficial (i.e. not officially endorsed by LOCOG). The scale of these events is currently impossible to predict, but will be subject to guidance as the ACPO operational planning framework develops.
ACPO currently anticipate that most will be of no policing consequence (e.g. art exhibitions, small musical events etc), although some may clearly have a potential impact (e.g. large screen TVs in town and city centre’s, pop concerts etc).
ACPO also take the view that training camps are likely, for the most part, to have minimal policing implications for forces, with security being taken care of by private security. However Forces that draw the more politically challenging teams may face additional policing challenges. Please keep your ears to the ground and let your Federation Office know if and when you know who is coming to your neighbourhood.
The good news is those training camps that may require policing activity beyond the negotiated private security arrangements (e.g. USA, Israel) will be subject to additional arrangements, co-ordinated centrally.
Nationally the Federation have already raised the issues of leave and been re-assured that there is no plan or need for a blanket ban on leave, but clearly individual Forces will have to place restrictions on the leave during Games period. It will be for local Federations to negotiate individual cases at local level, but officers should be aware that the sooner they identify the requirement for leave to be taken the better.
There have also been discussions regarding mutual aid, and the official sides of PNB have tabled a paper suggesting changes to what we know as the ‘Hertfordshire Agreement’. That discussion is ongoing.
There is no national plan to get part-time officers to work full-time during the Olympic period, though again individual Forces may approach officers to request flexibility. It is anticipated that local Federations will be involved in these discussions to prevent over zealousness and bullying.
AC Allison has agreed to speak on the Olympics at the PFEW annual Conference in May 2010.
The Federation’s Role
The role for the Federation in the lead up to the Olympics is to advise and assist managers in the development of their plans, to advise and assist those officers who anticipate disruption to their domestic lives caused by the Olympic Games, and to deal realistically with their expectations.
This will be a very busy 64 day period and most officers will be working additional duties either within their Force areas or deployed upon specific operations.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the London Olympic Games please contact your Federation office …..