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London 2012: Spies contribute to ‘safest building site in the world’


By Nick Harris

19 December 2010

Intelligence officers from MI5 and possibly M16 too are working on secondment on the London 2012 Olympic Games project, contributing to security and anti-terrorist initiatives. Sources say some are ’embedded’ within the Olympic Park in London, working undercover, and more detail can be found in today’s ‘Inside Sport’ column in the Mail on Sunday. Every brickie and bag searcher may not be who they seem.

Recommend supplementary reading can be found here at the Home Office website, here for an official safety and security assessment PDF download, and here for a speech from the effective boss of MI5 Jonathan Evans.

The Inside Sport column mentions that 150 of 500 guards on the Olympic Park site are Gurkhas. They work for the security firm G4S, the largest employer of Gurkhas in the world, and providers of security to events including Wimbledon. (Small related item from 2008 here).

Other security measures in place at the Olympic Park, beyond Gurkhas, spooks and a 17km electric fence are:

  • Hand scanners providing biometric access control, alongside photographic smart cards, for up to 5000 workers an hour at peak.
  • Iris scanning and access is also available as an alternative system where required.
  • On site searching and screening at entry and exit points as well as off site searching and screening of vehicle deliveries.
  • Coordinated CCTV and supporting perimeter security systems.
  • A dedicated police team at the Olympic Park which is liaising with on-site staff and contractors as well as the local communities.


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