With less than two months to the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the level of risk discourse relating to the event has gone into over-drive. Here are a selection of media stories over the past few days highlighting ongoing issues with event preparations:
- Disruption to commuters on the Central line have fuelled concerns about the ability of London’s transport system to cope with increased demand during the Games.
- Sports Minister Hugh Robertson MP has conceded that the government expects that the percentage of tickets distributed to corporate sponsors, which has not yet been disclosed publicly, is likely to be a source of public disquiet. There have also been reports about the selection of corporate sponsors as torch bearers for the Olympic torch relay which leave a similar impression of the privileging of corporate firms.
- Claims that there have been a pre-event crackdown on the local sex industry have been linked to increased risk to sex industry workers.
- There have been warnings that hopes for a social legacy from the Olympics are unravelling under the pressure of austerity politics, with declines in grassroots participation in sport and cutbacks to the funding of community projects.
- It has been reported that the backgrounds of up to half a million people are being assessed in the largest ever screening exercise — aimed at threats from both crime and terrorism. The ‘diffuse’ threat of terrorism to the Olympics has been highlighted as the security agencies prepare for the start of London 2012: with the expectation that the threat-level will be raised to ‘severe’ in the coming weeks, and with pressure on security organisation increasing as the event nears.