To enter you’ll have to go through airport-style security, or be fully accredited and security checked. Despite all this, Big Brother Watch has found that the Olympic village and Olympic park will have more CCTV cameras than Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh combined.
The Olympic Delivery Authority confirmed in a reply to our Freedom of Information request that there will be 1,851 public facing CCTV cameras on the Olympic Park and in the Olympic Village. (At a cost of approximately £1,000 per camera.) As our report ‘The Price of Privacy‘ found, the combined CCTV total for Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh is 1,728 cameras.
Of course the Olympics need to be secure but there is a danger of losing sight of all proportion in some of the current security arrangements, particularly around commercial issues. Nearly 2,000 extra CCTV cameras have been deployed in London for the games, more than several major British cities combined, while number plate scanning cameras will be in use across the capital.
The Olympic Games is set to be an historic event and security should be of the highest importance. However, it would be a sad indictment of modern Britain if the lasting legacy of the Games is an unwarranted security and surveillance infrastructure.