Dorset

London 2012: Dorset sailing security 'tested and ready'

HMS Bulwark
Image caption HMS Bulwark, which arrived off the Dorset coast last month, is an Albion class amphibious assault ship

Security preparations for the Olympic sailing events in Dorset have been tested and are ready, the crime and security minister has said.

James Brokenshire said security officials would remain vigilant until the Paralympics are completed.

He was visiting the Olympic sailing venue at Weymouth and Portland to watch exercises carried out by Dorset Police.

The largest Olympic and Paralympic site outside London, the venue hosts the only other full-time Olympic village.

Mr Brokenshire said: "Portland, Weymouth and Dorset are ready. Ready for the Games, ready for the sailing, ready for the Olympics and ready to welcome thousands of people to this really special event."

'Range of tactics'

Unlike at previous Olympic sailing events, the waters around Weymouth and Portland will not be closed, allowing the ports to stay open with restrictions during the Games.

The fields of play will be controlled by marshals, with the help of police and Royal Navy personnel.

Dorset Police's marine officers took to the water to demonstrate the stopping procedures they could implement as they patrol 50 sq miles of seawater for 65 days.

Ch Insp David Dent, maritime security co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said they had a "range of tactics" to deal with any incoming craft that might pose a threat.

He said: "The top end of those tactical options is what was seen out on the water today, which was a thing called running gear entanglement, which basically means deploying a device in front of the vessel which will cause it to stop in a very short distance."

Security organisations are preparing for a severe to critical threat level, although the country's current threat level is lower. Issues they are preparing for include poor weather, protesters and terrorism.

Officers will patrol the water on jet-skis, inflatable boats and smaller craft and will be supported by all three military forces.

At the end of last month HMS Bulwark arrived off the Dorset coast to support a test exercise ahead of the sailing and windsurfing events this summer.

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