Mercifully there were no acts of political violence during the London Olympics. So was the extent of the Olympic security operation – the biggest the UK has seen since the second world war – necessary? Despite fears about its impact and image, security does not seem to have had much of a negative effect on the games. The thousands of soldiers drafted in at the last minute to help with security procedures were almost invisible in the TV coverage. The just-in-time trained G4S security staff escaped mishap, and there were no long security queues at venues. One of the biggest cheers from the crowd during Lord Coe’s closing speech was for ‘those who kept us safe’. Compare this to the dreaded ‘what ifs’ of security and it seems like a job well done.

This leads to a self-validating conclusion: this was the right amount security, not too much to hinder…

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