Hampden crowd help Olympic security test run

FOOTBALL fans attending a cup match at Glasgow’s Hampden Park were used yesterday to test security arrangements for the forthcoming 2012 Olympics.

Spectators arriving for the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final between Ayr and Kilmarnock underwent searches as part of a practice run for football matches held as part of the Games.

The rehearsal involved fans entering Hampden Park’s North Stand, with spectators entering the stadium being warned beforehand that the exercise was to take place.

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The security test was carried out by the London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog) with security partner G4S, and was supported by Hampden Park and Strathclyde Police.

The stadium will host eight Olympic football matches for both men and women between 25 July and 3 August.

Ian Thomas, head of security integration and delivery at Locog, said: “Testing of security operations is vital ahead of the Games.

“We are working closely with our partners to ensure the smooth running of these tests and we are grateful to spectators in co-operating in this invaluable rehearsal.”

During the Olympic Games this summer, spectators at all Olympic venues will go through security tests, including all of the stadium venues.

Locog recently carried out similar security screening tests at football matches in Cardiff, Newcastle, Coventry and Manchester, which it said proved very successful.

The Organising Committee found itself at the centre of controversy last month when plans to erect giant Olympic rings in Edinburgh in time for the Hogmanay celebrations collapsed.

They had intended to place the iconic sporting symbol next to the city’s castle, but Historic Scotland balked at plans to leave them there for nine months.