05th December 2012
The Olympics have opened up so many opportunities for me and my company that they truly look like they could deliver a long term legacy.
And who knows whether that legacy might not be gold and green after my most recent trip to Brazil.
I was lucky enough to be asked to share our experiences and lessons learned from London 2012 with our Rio 2016 counterparts at a security seminar highlighting the approach to Olympics security.
Even better, I witnessed the police to police Olympics handover as our own Met Police passed the baton on to their Rio equivalent.
The British government has been working hard with Brazil on Olympic legacy, not least UK Trade & Industry, whose Defence & Security Organisation put on this security seminar with the Met, ODA/LOCOG and the British Embassy in Brazil.
They lined up 12 British companies including Zaun at the heart of venue security, critical national infrastructure protection and the fight against cyber terrorism for the seminar at the Marina Palace Hotel, Leblon in Rio de Janeiro.
Our audience included members of the Brazilian government, Rio Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Rio police, all of whom received a brochure translated into Brazilian Portuguese highlighting the contributors to the seminar.
John Doddrell, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Sao Paulo, gave a welcome address before Ben Fletcher, the head of industry engagement, Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), Home Office, talked about the threats, risks and strategy involved in securing London 2012.
Our slot on construction and delivery of venue security was hosted by Chris Jones, head of the Olympic Protect Programme at the OSCT, and Stephen Cooper OBE, head of security at the ODA.
I presented on the work we were involved in, alongside 4 Global, AEGIS Defence and Security, Rapiscan, ATG Access, MFD, Digital Barriers and LionWood Solutions.
There followed a session on the wider security challenges, which included contributions from Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance, Avon Protection, BT Global and Deloitte, and which was led by Chris Jones and Oliver Hoare, former head of information assurance and cyber security at the ODA.
The speakers took the audience through the ‘story’ and brought in contributors in a carefully choreographed collaboration between the Government and British industry working together to deliver a secure Games.
If ever there was a gilt-edged chance for us to show the Brazilians what we are capable of, this was it. We are hoping to turn this into new contracts, with the country scheduled to host the 2016 Olympic Games and before that the 2014 Football World Cup.