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Glasgow 2014: Police Scotland step up security operation

By DPF Admin10th July 2014August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

Security measures for the Commonwealth Games are being scaled up with just under two weeks to go until the opening ceremony.

Perimeter fencing is being put in place and venues are going into lockdown, with airport-style checks in place.

It is the biggest security operation Police Scotland has under taken and is costing £90m.

Gold Commander Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen said his officers were ready to respond to any eventuality.

He told BBC Scotland: “It's a huge responsibility. We are there to keep people safe.

“I think we have thought of everything. It's our job to be able to respond appropriately and adapt. We are good at what we do, we have lots of experience, so I am really confident that we will deliver.”

The security operation is a huge multi-agency effort, headed by Police Scotland, but also involving military personnel, prison officers and private firms.

A command and control centre has been set up in Govan and by next week will be a 24-hour operation.

The police will take the lead in dealing with any security incidents but staff from other partner agencies including the MoD, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Ambulance Service, both the Scottish and UK governments and the Games venues will be based at the control centre to provide support and back-up.

“We prepare against a very detailed threat and risk assessment which takes us all the way from terrorist incident through to other forms of criminal activity,” Mr Allen said.

“We look at outbreaks of disease for example, natural disasters – a whole wide range of potential things that could happen and our plan takes account of all of those.”

Silver Commander Assistant Chief Constable Derek Robertson said having everyone “under one roof” would allow security breaches to be dealt with “quickly and efficiently”.

“Should there be an incident, you have your partners all around you immediately which makes it a lot easier to deliver safety for the incident and get a resolution quickly so the Games can continue.”

At the venues security measures such as perimeter fencing, bollards and lighting are being put in place.

The Athletes' Village in the east end of the city is now officially in lockdown, which means anyone entering must have the correct documentation and go through security checks.

The venues will follow suit over the coming weeks. Officers will carry out detailed “defensive sweeps” searching for any suspicious items before declaring them ready for lockdown.

Mr Robertson said spectators coming to events should expect the kind of security seen at airports.

“We'll be checking bags, there will be x-ray procedures, there will be standard protocols to make sure there is nothing illegal going into the venues and everyone has a safe environment to enjoy the games.”

The police will be assisted in their efforts to keep venues secure by 17 private firms, about 2,400 members of the armed forces and 65 officers from the Scottish Prison Service.

Lesley Condie, from HMP Barlinnie, who has been training to be part of the security at two of the venues, said: “It's the same sort of job but a different setting. I am really excited to do it. It's something the prison service has never done before.”

Stewart Walden, who works at HMP Dumfries, added: “It's not every day that we get the chance to even come outside the jail never mind working up in Glasgow. It's a great opportunity.”

Last month Police Scotland announced Project Servator – policing tactics designed to deter, detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

This operation sees “highly visible yet unpredictable” deployments of specially trained officers around the clock to keep people safe – at venues, on the transport network and on the streets themselves in the run up to, and during the Commonwealth Games. It involves mounted police, dog units and the force helicopter.

Silver commander Mr Robertson added: “The safety of the public and the safety of residents in the area are paramount for us.

“We plan accordingly and we make sure everyone is briefed and we are all working together efficiently and effectively.

“Rest assured we have planned for this and will deliver it for the public.”

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