15 Nov 2011

Missiles could be used to protect 2102 Olympics, if needed

3:10 pm on 15 November 2011

The British government says surface-to-air missiles could be deployed to protect the 2012 Olympic Games in London if deemed necessary.

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the possible measure during parliamentary question time saying "......all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including, if the advice of the military is that it is required, appropriate ground-to-air defences."

The BBC reports that the comments follow reports of concern in the US about security plans for the Games.

It notes that the question was put by Mr Hammond's predecessor as defence secretary, Liam Fox, who would have been aware of the security plans for the event but asked the question to show how seriously the UK's contingency planning is being taken.

Estimates suggest some 12,000 police could be needed to help provide security for the London Games, alongside at least 10,000 personnel from the private sector.