Olympic Games 2012

Home Department written question – answered on 26th June 2012.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether foreign law enforcement agents and other foreign nationals with firearms will be allowed to enter the UK during the London 2012 Olympics; and what steps she plans to take to ensure such firearms are tracked.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Immigration

Foreign law enforcement agents (known as in flight security officers or federal air marshals or sky marshals) are not permitted to hold firearms in the United Kingdom. Border Force will continue to secure and retain control of firearms being brought to the UK by foreign law enforcement agents.

The Government remain committed to delivering a safe and secure Olympic games in 2012, and lead responsibility for this rests with the police who have substantial experience of dealing with public order and security at major events. The rules governing the presence of foreign security and protection teams at the games are the same as at any time.

Foreign national games family members (GFM) competing in the Olympic and Paralympic shooting events will be given the appropriate authority to hold firearms. All firearms will be held in the Royal Artillery Barracks in the UK. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) will be operating a collection-and-return service between the ports and the Royal Artillery Barracks for firearms. Border Force officers, along with the Metropolitan Police Service, SO19—specialist firearms command responsible for issuing British visitors firearms permits—will be deployed to the Royal Artillery Barracks to ensure that regulatory requirements and re-export of firearms are completed.

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