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Olympics (Police Preparedness)

Volume 545: debated on Monday 21 May 2012

14. What recent assessment she has made of the preparedness of the police for the London 2012 Olympics. (108040)

The Government and everyone involved are focused on delivering a safe, secure and successful games. We are confident about police preparations, which are at an advanced stage of readiness and are on track for the Olympic and Paralympic games.

I thank the Minister for his reassuring words. To ensure a safe Olympics, it will be important for the police to work closely with other blue light services, such as the fire and ambulance services. What discussions have taken place on collaboration between all the emergency services?

I thank my hon. Friend for his question, and I know that as chair of the all-party group on emergency services he takes a keen interest in these issues—indeed, I understand that he recently arranged a visit to the Olympic park. I can assure him that the Home Secretary has chaired various cross-governmental meetings with ACPO, the fire service and the ambulance service to ensure that there is a strong and co-ordinated blue light response, enhancing our emergency services.

Of course, the 2012 Olympics are not only taking place in London; many events will also be held in Cardiff, including the first one, before the opening ceremony, at the millennium stadium. What consultation has the Minister had with South Wales police to make sure that people attending the Olympics in Cardiff and other cities across the country have just the same level of safety as will be enjoyed in London?

The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight the connections; indeed I visited Weymouth last week to examine the preparations for the Olympic sailing event, which we are very much looking forward to there. The police and the national Olympic co-ordinator have been actively bringing the police response together. We have been testing and carrying out exercises, and focusing not simply on London, but on all parts of the country involved in the Olympic games. We look forward to celebrating them very much.