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Questions regarding Security Μεγέθυνση κειμένου Σμίκρυνση κειμένου Print E-mail
  • Who is institutionally responsible for Olympic Games Security?

Olympic Games Security has been institutionally assigned by the State to the Ministry of Public Order, and in particular, to the Hellenic Police. Therefore, Hellenic Police has established a special independent  service under the direct command of the Chief of the Police: the Olympic Games Security Division.

  • What is the role of the Olympic Games Security Division as far as Olympic Games security is concerned?

The mission of the Olympic Games Security Division is to:
- Strategically plan security and law enforcement measures necessary during preparations and during the hosting of the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the Cultural Olympiad. 

 -  Oversee the operational application of security planning.
 -  Coordinate all Services, Agencies and Bodies involved with security for the 2004 Olympic Games.

  • What steps have been taken to ensure an absolutely secure environment for the Olympic Games?

Olympic Security Planning has unfailingly met deadlines and has been successfully completed, a fact repeatedly recognized by International Olympic Committee (IOC) representatives. It commenced with the development of a strategic plan, followed by the development of a general guidance and tactical plan, before concluding with operational planning. A testing period followed in order to assess planning, means, equipment as well as the readiness of personnel during the hosting of sports events and during relevant exercises. Planning covers the entire country by emphasizing the prevention of terrorist threats, by dispatching well-trained personnel, by establishing an organized and effective information network and by implementing a special anti-terrorism plan and the most advanced security systems.

  • How many individuals will be employed for Olympic Games Security?

Roughly 70,000 individuals, primarily derived from law enforcement authorities (Hellenic Police, The Fire Brigade, The Coast Guard), The Armed Forces and The National Intelligence Service -all supplied with the latest equipment and weaponry -will be employed for Olympic Games Security in Athens and other regional Olympic cities (Thessaloniki, Volos, Heraklio, Patra and ancient Olympia).

  • How much does Olympic Games Security cost, and what are the funding sources?

Almost 1 billion Euros has been allocated for the Olympic Games Security, of which 250 million Euros concern C4I systems. This funding comes exclusively from national coffers. It is the largest expenditure ever allocated for Olympic Games Security.

  • What is the Olympic Advisory Group? What is the role of the Olympic Advisory Group in Olympic Games Security?

Seven countries with significant experience regarding security issues vis-ΰ-vis major sports events comprise the Olympic Advisory Group. These countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Spain and Israel. Experts from these countries offer their know-how in several sectors, such as on issues of planning, technology, training, information-gathering and analysis.

  • Has any other cooperation been developed within the framework of the Games?

Special cooperation with Member-States of the European Union is being developed, since Greece is the first EU Member-State to host Olympic Games following implementation of the Schengen Pact. Cooperation with transnational organizations (Interpol, Europol) and services of various other countries is also being developed, something that broadens capabilities and augments the level of security. Finally, NATO will also contribute to the Olympic Games Security.  

  • What are the responsibilities of the Olympic Security Coordination Council?

The Olympic Security Coordination Council was established by a Ministerial Decree and it will operate up until the end of the Olympic Games. It retains the following responsibilities:

    • To evaluate crises and to decide over a crisis management system dealing with serious criminal actions, threats or incidents that harm or may affect the normal and secure hosting of the Olympic Games, while at the same time providing general guidance to competent Ministries and other responsible Agencies.
    • Decision-making regarding the possible intervention of Special Forces, and in general, on the use of overwhelming force in extraordinary cases, based on provisions in current use.
    • Decision-making regarding the evacuation or sealing off of Venues, accommodations and residential areas when this directly affects the hosting of the Olympic Games.
    • To report to the Government Council of Foreign and Defense Policy (KYSEA) on issues of its competence.
    • To decide on the participation of domestic or foreign non-governmental (volunteer) organizations and bodies regarding crisis management.
    • To cooperate with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
    • To formulate a crisis management communications policy.

The chairman of this Council is the Minister of Public Order, while other Ministers participate in it namely, the following:

Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of National Defense; Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization; Minister of Merchant Marine; Minister of State/Government Spokesman; Alternate Minister of Culture, as well as the President of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC).

Other Ministers, Deputy Ministers, departmental officials as well as experts, may be invited to the Olympic Security Coordination Council sessions when issues within their competence are discussed.

  • What hi-tech systems will be employed for Olympic Games Security?

New infrastructure - such as new operations centers, state-of-the-art telecommunication systems, command & control systems - has been developed by employing the latest technology and know-how. Olympic Security is buttressed by hi-tech systems, means and weaponry of an unprecedented scale, compared to past Olympics. New equipment includes border surveillance systems, mobile port surveillance systems, harbor security systems, mobile crisis management centers, vehicles, aircraft (helicopters, airplanes, airship), patrol boats, firefighting vessels, traffic management equipment, weaponry, information systems, equipment to deal with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats (C.B.R.N.) etc.

  • What are the C4I systems?

The C4I (Command, Control, Coordination, Communications, & Integration) systems are state-of-the-art , hi-tech means of communication, data processing and physical security that are completely interactive and provide information (image, sound, data) to authorized law enforcement commanders, allowing the latter to evaluate a situation in real time and to facilitate decision-making. Specifically, C4I systems include:

    • Specialized security systems
    • Physical security systems
    • Digital multi-channel wireless communication
    • Construction/equipping of operations centers
    • Systems-informatics programs

These systems cannot and do not replace the human factor and also then cannot implement security operations by themselves.
However, these systems are a significant tool by providing early and reliable information as well as in facilitating decision-making by commanders.

  • What were the criteria for choosing security personnel that would train in C4I systems, and how were they trained?

The C4I systems are separated in three groups: the Command Decision Support System (CDSS) the Communication and Information System (CIS) and Command Center System (CCS). Training differs from one sub-system to another. Consequently, personnel involved in more than one sub-system are trained separately in each.
Selection criteria for choosing personnel were based on the system`s requirements and were related to the profile and type of each particular system, as well as on the requirements of the position each trainee will hold during the Games. Basic criteria for selected candidates included computer proficiency, a good working knowledge of the English language, as well as a broad knowledge of certain sub-systems sectors, such as communication, for example.
Almost 3,000 individuals from relevant Agencies and Services were trained in C4I systems, specifically, from Hellenic Police, The Fire Brigade and The Coast Guard, The National Intelligence Service, The Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces General Staff, The Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, The Finance Ministry`s Financial Crimes Squad, Customs, The National Ambulance Service as well as representatives of other Agencies that man the Command Centers. The training of personnel was carried out simultaneously with the project`s implementation and the installation of various systems, with the purpose of better familiarizing personnel.

  • What will happen with the collected data obtained via Closed Circuit Television Cameras?

Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) provide the capability of recording images that will instantaneously be relayed to operations centers. In particular, the movement of vehicles along the road network will be recorded, as well as possible incidents related to public order and safety. Collected data is saved for a period of seven (7) days before being over-written by the latest recorded data relayed by the cameras. Law enforcement and judicial authorities evaluate any recorded criminal offence, while the Hellenic Data Protection Authority guarantees that human dignity, privacy and free development of personality will be protected and not violated by the operation of the cameras. Also the material related to the movement of vehicles is evaluated by traffic police for matters related to traffic circulation and management.

  • What Security measures are envisioned for Olympic Venues?

Strict Security measures have been planned for Olympic Venues (competition and non-competition facilities) based on international practice and experience.

- A "vulnerability" and risks assessment study has been comprised for each Olympic Venue.
Controlled Circulation and Parking Zones have been designated for vehicles around the Venues.

These Zones are classified as: 

    • Controlled Entry and Circulation Zones (C.E.C.Z.) in the surrounding areas, where entry is allowed only to accredited vehicles and,
    • Controlled Parking Zones (C.P.Z.), in the wider area around the Venue, where there are restrictions concerning the stopping and parking of vehicles on specific streets that have been selected to serve transportation needs.

Physical security systems have also been envisioned, specifically:

    • Barriers, such as external security fences on externals perimeters. Wherever site layout allows, a second perimeter zone is foreseen. A security zone between these two perimeters (exterior and interior) is also foreseen for the movement of police and emergency services vehicles
    • Additional security lighting
    • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras
    • Motion detectors
    • Perimeter control (observation posts, patrols etc)
    • Pedestrian and vehicle access control points manned by trained personnel and equipped with technical means (magnetic doors, various X-Rays machines, portable metal detectors, vehicle check mirrors etc)

The above Security measures are applied proportionally to all Olympic Venues. Before the final delivery of Venues, Security Forces made a meticulous Security Sweep; and when Venues were confirmed as completely "Clean", they were locked-down. It should also be stressed that as of that specific moment, "any individual, vehicle or object / product entering -with permission - Olympic Venues is checked". This is an unchanging rule of Olympic Venues Security Planning.

  • Are there stricter Security Measures in place for teams from certain countries, or  will  that  be left up to the discretion of each individual team?

The issue of collective security of national Olympic teams is the exclusive responsibility of Hellenic Police, which, as previously stated, is institutionally responsible for every facet of the Olympic Games Security. Security will by no means be left up to the discretion of each national delegation. Besides, Olympic Security Planning pays particular attention to the safety of the Olympic Family and Dignitaries. Applied measures are based on the evaluation of risks and threats and are separated into general and specific protection measures.

General measures include:

    • the patrolling of the Olympic road network and the surrounding civic areas
    • the presence of security Forces at Venues
    • guarding and surveillance of Venues
    • the ability to rapidly respond to incidents

Specific measures include:

    • personal and escort security
    • location inspection
    • the dispatch of a security scouting detail
    • appointment of liaison-officers
    • air cover
    • secure shelters
    • the use of appropriate equipment and means
    • alternative routes / scheduling
  • What types of exercises have been held up until now?

Some of the most important exercises held so far are the following:
Map exercises:
"Trojan Horse" - November 2001
"Gordian Knot" - May 2002
"Lernea Hydra" - May 2003
"Blazing Sword"- September 2003
"Olympic Guardian II"-May 2004

With the participation of Forces:
"Rainbow" - November 2002
"Blue Odyssey"- February 2004
"Hercules` Shield"-March 2004
"Poseidon`s Trident"- July 2004

  • Do increased Security Measures mean that people in Greece during the Olympic Games will be living amidst a police state environment?

Security Measures are strict, but they do not create conditions for any police state environment. These measures are planned with the primary objective being the security of athletes, national delegations, dignitaries, and visitors but also the citizens of Athens. Our aim is to create an environment in which Security Measures will not affect the celebratory and festive character of the Olympics, but instead will allow everyone to enjoy the unique experience of the Olympic Games in the land where they were born and revived.

  • What are the post-Olympic benefits for Hellenic Police from these investments in the security sector?

New infrastructure has been developed, such as new operations centers, modern telecommunication systems as well as command and control systems, are for post-Olympics use as well.
Following the conclusion of the Games, all these systems will essentially heighten and reinforce Hellenic Police`s capabilities, which will possess an ultra-modern infrastructure, in many ways more advanced than many other European Police Forces.
For example, with the cutting-edge communication system (TETRA) at his/her disposal, a Police Officer investigating a road accident will be able to relay image and sound simultaneously to an Operations Center, thereby allowing, on their part, for the simultaneous and rapid dispatch of the nearest and most capable Fire Brigade or the National Ambulance Center Units.