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Special police unit to follow Olympic Torch

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for Crime and Security James Brokenshire watched as the Metropolitan Police Olympic Torch protection team were put through their paces today at a training exercise in Hendon.

The Olympic Torch arrives in the UK on 18 May and will embark on a 70 day tour of the country before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July for the opening ceremony.

The Torch will be accompanied on its journey by a 69 strong policing team. The team was selected in December 2010 following an eight month selection process and are drawn from a range of policing roles including borough policing, CID, diplomatic protection group, traffic and airports.

The team, not all on duty at the same time, will cover a number of roles on a 24-hour seven-day a week basis, including escorts, traffic officers, senior officers in tactical command and event planners.

During the Torch Relay the team will keep pace with each torch bearer and could see officers running up to 30 miles every day, for several consecutive days.

Training

The minister witnessed the team undergo their final training session. They will then take part in the full test run of the Torch Relay which is taking place in April between Leicester and Peterborough.

He said: ‘The arrival of the Olympic Torch is really the beginning of the Games and an opportunity for the country to get involved and start to experience the Olympic spirit.

‘We want to ensure the Torch Relay passes off peacefully and is remembered for the celebrations it brings and not as a security exercise. I am confident that the team the police have put in place will deliver a peaceful and successful Torch Relay as it tours the UK.’

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