Massive Security Operation Being Prepared for Rio 2016
As many as 60,000 security personnel could be deployed during next summer’s Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, representing a 33 per cent increase on the 40,000 present throughout London 2012.
The number, reported Reuters, comes following major concerns over security during the Games, particularly the risk of muggings and low level attacks on athletics and spectators.
Details of the operation are still being finalised, it is claimed, but will consist of a combination of military troops, police, firemen and private security forces.
Although high, the number would still be less than the 75,000 force seen at the Athens 2004 Olympics and Paralympics, which took place amid fears of terrorism just three years after the devastating September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington D.C.
Anti-terrorism has formed a key part of the security focus, with Brazilian officials receiving support internationally from the likes of Britain and United States.
But it is so called “lower-level” crime, such as robberies as well as more violent stabbings and shootings, that are generating greatest fears after a string of unsavoury incidents in recent months.
Last month, 57-year-old local doctor Jaime Gold died in hospital as a result of injuries sustained while cycling close to the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas lake upon which rowing and canoe sprint events will be held.
Last December, British 470 class sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark were mugged at knife point when walking back to their hotel close to the Bay during a training camp ahead of the Olympics, being robbed of all of their belongings, including training gear used during the day’s session.
Previous predictions from the Defence Ministry suggest that security will cost around BRL R$600 million (£123 million/$195.10 million/€172 million).
Full figures on either the cost or quantity of forces are yet to be released by either the Organisers or political authorities.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.