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Olympic legacy: £40million secured by Dorset to keep the games safe
SOME £40.86m funding was secured by the Olympic Planning Team for Dorset’s safety and security operation for the 2012 Games, it has been revealed.
The overall security budget for the London 2012 Games was approximately £600million with approximately £475million put aside for policing, of which Dorset has been allocated a share of at least £40.86million.
A Dorset Police Authority ‘2012 Olympic Games close-down report’ celebrates the ‘safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games operation’ delivered by the county force, with ‘significant’ support from 35 other police forces.
On peak days there were 350 officers on duty at any one time within the main Olympic areas.
A total of 1,721, mutual aid officers – from other forces – were involved, including 372 officers from Devon and Cornwall, 366 from Avon and Somerset, 216 from Hampshire, 180 from Gloucester, 114 from Wiltshire and 104 Ministry of Defence Police.
Chief Superintendent David Griffith, head of operational and contingency planning, said: “Dorset Police have a grant allocation of up to £40.86million to cover all of the costs of delivering the safety and security operation for the sailing events of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The exact amount of money that we will claim from the grant may decrease slightly from this figure as we are still carrying out the final auditing and accountancy work for the operation, but this figure will not increase.”
In an interview with the Echo, Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Adrian Whiting said crime dropped ‘massively’ in Weymouth and Portland during the Olympics and by 15 to 16 per cent across Dorset, according to early figures.
Mr Whiting said: “In the area around Weymouth and Portland where the Olympic village and sailing venue are, it’s down a massive amount. It’s no surprise.
“It’s often what happens during these sorts of activities. During the political party conferences in Bournemouth we normally see a reduction of crime,” he added.
Mr Whiting credited the increased police presence and influx of families who really ‘set the tone for how the crowd collectively are going to behave’.
During the Olympics, 2,288 water users were given advice on the Harbour Revision Order sailing restrictions – ‘sometimes the same boat more than once’.
‘Significant demands’ for police resources elsewhere in the force area at the same time included murders in Bournemouth, the tragic cliff collapse in Burton Bradstock, Lulworth’s Camp Bestival, Bournemouth Air Festival, the Great Dorset Steam Fair and Dorset County Show. When a wartime bomb was found on Bournemouth beach during the air festival, the military bomb disposal team from the Paralympic sailing venue attended.
Mr Whiting hailed the success of the ‘safe and secure’ Games.
He said increased multi-agency training would ‘provide a lasting legacy’ for the county.
“The success of the security operation in Dorset has undoubtedly been down to the support and vigilance of local communities and visitors, and to the hard work and commitment of our police officers, police staff and partners,” he said.
Mr Whiting praised all the Armed Forces for their support in the lead up to, and during, the operation itself.
This included 43 Wessex Brigade on land, the Royal Air Force who assisted to deliver restrictions on airspace and the Royal Navy at sea with a ‘bronze-level command centre’ on board HMS Bulwark.
£40,000 Insurance Claims ‘Oustanding’ AN ESTIMATED £40,000 currently falls outside the Dorset Police Olympic insurance cover, according to the Dorset Police Authority’s (DPA) September report.
It states that the ‘vast majority’ of claims are relatively low value but an estimated £40,000 currently falls outside of the insurance cover put in place before the start of the Games by the DPA and police force. Steps are being made to recover these costs from the Home Office which created a reserve for such purposes.
The report lists four motor claims ‘all of relatively low value’, 13 ‘injury on duty’ forms submitted, of which four may result in a claim.
There were also a ‘significant number’ of recorded incidents of damage caused to marine craft, either through the Games or as a result of handover procedures.
Two craft incurred engine damage prior to the Games, similar damage was caused to a further craft that has been referred to the insurance company and an incident involving a craft belonging to a member of the public may result in a formal claim being made.