South Wales Police to increase Cardiff Olympic security

Millennium Stadium The Millennium Stadium hosts women's Olympic football two days before London's opening ceremony

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Increased numbers of police officers are to provide security around the Millennium Stadium and other Cardiff venues used by Olympic athletes.

The announcement follows more talks between South Wales Police and London 2012 organisers Locog.

They have been trying to fill the gap left by a shortage in staff provided by security firm G4S at Olympic venues.

The stadium stages the first Olympics action on Wednesday. It will continue to provide its own stewards.

Assistant Chief Constable Julian Kirby said: "South Wales Police and our partners continue to work closely with Locog and is committed to delivering a safe and secure games for competitors, spectators and everyone living in the force area.

"Additional officers will be deployed to these operations, however, this will have no impact on the level of service to the communities of South Wales.

"As part of our lengthy planning for the games, we have been sure to build contingency and resilience into our resourcing and want to reassure the public that we have the capacity to meet this task."

The police will not be drawn on how many officers will be provided.

Briefing

But it has said previously that 20 officers were being used to plug the gaps in Cardiff left by G4S with a further 165 being sent to London.

Stadium management confirmed to BBC Wales that the police would only staff the perimeter, the work expected to be done by G4S, with stadium stewards carrying out work inside the arena.

The Police Federation's south Wales chair Steve Trigg said they were happy with the arrangement because other areas of the force's work would not be affected.

Mr Kirby said: "We will use a mixture of officers deployed on Olympic duties, overtime and asking officers to work through their rest days.

London 2012 - One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

"As part of our planning we have also asked our officers to limit their holiday leave throughout the Olympic and Paralympic period."

The development comes after police officers contacted BBC Wales earlier this week with concerns that public safety could be compromised, claims dismissed by the force.

The manager of the Millennium Stadium has said it will not be hit by problems affecting security contractor G4S as it provides its own stewards.

On Saturday, police in north Wales attended a special briefing session as the force is sending 179 officers to provide security during the Olympics.

The Gwent force is sending 207 officers, with 165 from South Wales Police and 132 from Dyfed-Powys.

Cardiff will host women's football two days before the opening ceremony in London.

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