I have rather fallen behind in documenting ‘risk tales’ ahead of London 2012. Here is an update of recent developments:
The scale of the security operation for London 2012 is quite remarkable, and far has outstripped the expectations laid out in feasibility studies for a London bid and the candidature file submitted to the IOC in 2004. The security service is said to have introduced a ‘new monitoring and intelligence gathering system‘ (Olympic-focused intelligence centres have been a recurring feature of event planning since the 1990s), with security checks to be carried out on more than 540,000 people. There remain questions, however, about the knock-on effects of the escalation of security operations outside Games-time: with annual leave for MI5 restricted during the event, it is conceivable that other important areas of national security will be under-attended to (and under-resourced), due to concentration of Olympic-related threats.
It is also reported that the projected surge in tourist numbers for the Olympics will result in an increased risk of pandemic flu, with the UK rated as at ‘extreme risk’ for the spread of influenza — with the UK already at high risk due to its highly globalised economy and society.
The predicted Olympic-boom in high price rentals during the Games is at risk of over-supply of properties, also with adverse consequences for rental costs in local markets – both exacerbating a lack of stability for existing tenants, but also creating the potential for a rental downturn if properties are left empty after the Games.