Olympic security reviewed after London violence
Britain vowed to review security plans for the 2012 London Olympics
on Tuesday as a third day of rioting forced the cancellation of
England's football match against the Netherlands.
Widespread unrest across the British capital, and the inability of
police to deal swiftly with Monday's multiple outbreaks of violence,
have prompted questions over security plans for next summer's sports
extravaganza. British Home Secretary Theresa May said officials would
"look at what is necessary" to ensure a trouble-free Olympics, where
police will be aiming to provide security for some 10,500 athletes. "We
take the issues around the Olympics very seriously," May told BBC radio.
"An awful lot of work has already gone into planning in relation to
the security and public order in relation to the Olympics and we will
continue to monitor that and continue to look at what is necessary and
what we need."
Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said anyone expressing scepticism
about London's security planning for the 2012 Games was "very, very
"We have a commitment to deliver a safe and secure Games and we will
do so," Robertson said.
The scenes of carnage could not have come at a worse time for London
organisers, who are currently hosting around 200 senior Olympics
officials for three days of meetings to address logistics for the Games.
However a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said
the organisation was confident London could deliver a secure event.
"Security at the Olympic Games is a top priority for the IOC," he
"It is, however, directly handled by the local authorities, as they
know best what is appropriate and proportionate. We are confident they
will do a good job in this domain."
British Olympic officials meanwhile expressed confidence that London
would be able to host a trouble-free games.
"This is not a reflection of London, this is a reflection of the
world we live in today," British Olympic Association director of
communications Darryl Seibel told Sky Sports News.
The unrest forced a hurried conclusion to the beach volleyball
Olympic test event taking place at Horseguards Parade in central London.
The event had been due to finish at 10pm local time before its end was
brought forward to 7pm.
The British sporting world reacted with disgust to the scenes of
looting and rioting in London, which has spread to several cities across
Double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes branded the violence a "bloody
"A minority of hooligans are sending out bad message for the rest of
the country. World eyes 2012!" Holmes wrote on Twitter.
"In less than one year we welcome the world to London and right now
the world doesn't want to come," British distance runner Paula Radcliffe
The comments came as football chiefs confirmed England's friendly
against the Dutch at Wembley scheduled for Wednesday had been cancelled
amid fears for fan and player safety.
"It is terribly sad that a major sports event of this sort has to be
cancelled in this way," FA chairman David Bernstein said.
"But we have to put safety and security matters first ... I think we
have done the only thing we could do."
The unprecedented decision followed the earlier postponement of
League Cup matches involving West Ham, Charlton and Crystal Palace after
England star Rio Ferdinand responded to the announcement on
micro-blogging site Twitter.
"England vs Holland game is off, good call. Who wants to see a game
of football when our country is in turmoil," Ferdinand wrote.
Authorities in Birmingham, another city marred by violence on Monday,
meanwhile said England's cricket match against India was set to get
under way as planned on Wednesday.
England captain Andrew Strauss said his team's preparations had been
unaffected by the violence.
"When you watch these scenes on the television, it's horrific and
it's far from England's proudest moment. But we fully intend to play the
game as we would any other game," Strauss said. LONDON, Wednesday (AFP)