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An opportunity or liability? London 2012 and security

David Barrett (Professor of Applied Social Studies and Dean of Partnerships at the University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK)

Safer Communities

ISSN: 1757-8043

Article publication date: 15 July 2011




This paper seeks to look at the considerable challenges that the London 2012 Olympic Games poses in terms of crime and security. A number of key tensions appear to be arising as the Games approach including, for example, in the areas of tourism, street crime, terrorism, security, people trafficking and serious organised crime.


A review of existing material was undertaken including learning from Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. Following this, the issues relating to London 2012 were examined.


This paper provides an overview of the nature of some of those challenges and assesses the available mechanisms for dealing with them. It argues that the balance between maximising opportunities and minimising risk will need to be carefully managed.

Practical implications

Key decision‐makers who are involved in considering risk assessment protocols will find the experiences of previous Games helpful in order to ensure the success of London 2012.


This paper facilitates decision‐makers for London 2012 and subsequent major events such as the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 2014.



Barrett, D. (2011), "An opportunity or liability? London 2012 and security", Safer Communities, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 41-48.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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