Lon­don Olympics, tighter air­port se­cu­rity


Bri­tain’s Olympic se­cu­rity plans fell un­der fresh scru­tiny, with a news­pa­per re­port­ing that sev­eral peo­ple on a ter­ror watch list have been waved through air­port bor­der con­trols with­out be­ing flagged and of­fi­cials try­ing to calm the up­roar over a se­cu­rity con­trac­tor’s fail­ure to pro­vide its promised num­ber of staff.

The Ob­server news­pa­per’s re­port is the lat­est in a se­ries of last­minute con­cerns to sur­face as Lon­don gets ready to host the Olympic Games from July 27 to Au­gust 12.

The pa­per said that, since the start of the month, im­mi­gra­tion staff at Lon­don’s Heathrow Air­port had missed sev­eral peo­ple on a se­cu­rity watch list whose ar­rival in the coun­try was meant to have been re­ported to counter-ter­ror­ism po­lice or Bri­tain’s do­mes­tic in­tel­li­gence ser­vice.

The news­pa­per cited unions as sug­gest­ing that staff brought in to help re­lieve the pres­sure at Heathrow, which has faced re­cur­ring prob­lems han­dling large in­fluxes of pas­sen­gers, weren’t be­ing prop­erly trained. The air­port, Europe’s busiest, has re­cently strug­gled to clear huge lines that build up at im­mi­gra­tion check­points dur­ing peak times, lead­ing to fears of Olympics-re­lated chaos as tourists fly in to watch the games.

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