£90m Cost Of Glasgow's Games Security

21 July 2014, 06:46 | Updated: 21 July 2014, 06:48

The security operation around the Commonwealth Games will be the biggest ever staged in Scotland and comes at a cost of £90 million.

Led by Police Scotland, it also includes the Armed Forces, prison officers, transport police and a number of private security firms.

Organisers want Glasgow 2014 to be known as the "friendly Games'' but transport and entry around each of the venues will be tightly controlled, with spectators warned to expect airport-style checks with X-ray machines and scanners being used.

The operation is being managed from a 24-hour control centre in Govan with police, Ministry of Defence, Crown Office, Government, fire and rescue and ambulance officials providing support.

In total, 17 private security firms will be involved in the operation, including G4S, who will provide stewarding.

The firm was heavily criticised for its part in the London Olympics when thousands of military personnel had to be drafted in after the company admitted it might not be able to provide enough guards.

Organisers ran a tendering process looking at "capability and value for money'', and are confident of avoiding logistical problems.

Glasgow 2014 chief operations officer David Leather said: "We recognise and value the important role private security suppliers have to play and we are delighted to have created the opportunity for a wide range of security providers to contribute to delivering a safe and enjoyable Games experience for athletes, officials and spectators under the guidance of Police Scotland.

"We are applying a level of scrutiny that is unprecedented in the provision of a contractor security and stewarding workforce.

"That means the progress of every contractor towards the successful delivery of their commitments is fully transparent and there is accountability at every step of the way.''

The budget was originally about £30 million but trebled in December 2012 with additional government funding and money from Games contingency fund used to help make up the increase.

It came after police were asked to take primary responsibility for security and as a result of ''key lessons learned'' from the London Olympics, Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison told the Scottish Parliament.

Some police officers are said to be unhappy with the long hours and reduced time off they will have around the Games, but senior officers want to ensure all aspects of the event run smoothly.

The scale of the operation is such that it is being studied by a team of researchers from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research.

The group is focusing on the planning process and how the various government, public and private bodies work together to secure the event.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, security director for the Games, said: "It's an operation unprecedented in scale in terms of the resources needed to ensure the Games run safely and securely across all aspects of the event.

"We prepare against a very detailed threat and risk assessment which takes us all the way from terrorist incident through to other forms of criminal activity.

"We look at outbreaks of disease, for example, natural disasters - a whole wide range of potential things that could happen and our plan takes account of all of those.''

About 2,000 military personnel will help provide venue security during the competition as well as performing ceremonial roles at the event, including a Red Arrows fly-past at the opening ceremony.

Around 900 will be provided by the Army, with 300 each from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. A further 900 will be held in reserve in case they are needed.

On the ground, each venue is surrounded with perimeter fences while in the sky there will be restrictions on aircraft movements.

Six sets of regulations covering airspace will remain in place until August 6, with a core prohibited zone over the Games venues and athletes' village, surrounded by a larger restricted zone.