Resilience Planning underway for Londons Olympics

London has long and extensive experience of hosting large events, from the Millennium Celebrations through to the Notting Hill Carnival, and an advanced suite of regional plans to deal with emergencies of any type
Despite this, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will require a step change because of the city-wide impacts as well and the Games' complexity and duration.
London Olympics Resilience'Games time' will necessitate operating for 64 days along with half a million extra spectators, over two hundred heads of state and thousands of members of the Olympic family in attendance; the numbers are vast and the scale of the challenge is clear.
When the UK government committed in its bid for the Games to ensure a Safety and Secure Games take place, the question posed to planners was; how do we achieve this?
In February 2009 the Home Office published the '2012 Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy' which sets out how this challenge was to be addressed. By September that year, the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) had commissioned us, the London Resilience Team (LRT), part of the Government Office for London, to: "ensure appropriate plans and capabilities are in place to deliver an effective response to the threats and hazards identified by the Olympic Safety and Security Strategic Risk Assessment (OSSSRA)".
With 27 of the 36 venues being in London, a significant amount of London specific planning was obviously required to make sure not only that arrangements are in place for those venues, but also for incidents arising during the Games elsewhere in London. Anything that happens during 2012 will affect the Games; after all, there is not 'Olympic' and 'non-Olympic' London, there is just London.
LRT is one of nine regional resilience teams across England within Government Offices. As a multi-agency team with a mix of civil servants and secondees from responder organisations, our approach is to avoid the development of duplicating new ways of working for a one-off event and instead to use existing processes wherever possible.
The Games are an obvious target for terrorist groups and those who intend to cause disruption to highlight a cause and are vulnerable to a range of non-malicious hazards. As the risks change, so do the context and the operating environment. These changes include for instance a greater number of international visitors and a greater proportion of disabled visitors and athletes (particularly during the Paralympics and far beyond what we currently plan for), all the way through to heightened media and political expectations.
An Olympic-specific risk assessment was an obvious first step to set out the scenarios for which we must be prepared. 
However, we quickly established that a greater level of detail could be provided by assimilating all of the available risk assessments and tailoring the consequences of scenarios to London. This process led to a bespoke set of planning assumptions, the Olympic Resilience: Guidance for London Planners. The guidance will inform ongoing work especially in analysing the requirements for 2012 against regional capabilities to identify where existing arrangements must be enhanced or where new capabilities may be required.
LRT's role in the broadest sense will be to coordinate the closing of any capability gaps identified through this process. Ultimately, it is about ensuring that capabilities are in place on the ground. A further task will be to then validate all arrangements to make sure that they can be executed effectively during the Games; exercising matters.
Many of the benefits will be realised even before the Games; we already understand our risk landscape better and are sharing threat information more intelligently than before and, by the end of the process we will have a more thorough knowledge of current preparedness than ever before. That said, our approach will mean that by 2012, London will have developed a wider and deeper suite of response plans and capabilities which will stand the capital, and the UK, in good stead for future challenges.
Zonia Brown, 
Deputy Head of Division, 
London Resilience Team, Government Office for London