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Costs increase to protect Olympic Game sites

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It has emerged that security costs UK taxpayers £250,000 a day to protect the Olympic Venues in London.

Now construction has nearly completed on the five main arenas, cost has dramatically increased.

Members of the public have had different opinions about how the money has been spent so far.

Some have said it will create a number of jobs and will be good for London, others have said it will be millions wasted.

Venue security costs have trebled over the past year and figures from Sky News show the cost to the Government was a total of £35m in 2011 with September costing £7.5m.

Money is being spent on fencing, security guards and screening of staff going in and out of the venues.

Security is the main expense due to the recent riots with the Met Police looking into stepping up security staff from 10,000 to 15,000.

Money has also been spent on x-ray machines, CCTV control rooms, fingerprints and Iris analysis for workers to ensure security remains efficient.

Defence

Olympic Delivery Authority have defended the cost of the Games so far saying: “Security for the Games is of paramount importance and has formed a vital part of the design and building process in delivering the London 2012 venues and infrastructure.

“Recent spend also includes capital works programmed to be carried out at this stage of the project following completion of the main venues on the Olympic Park, such as the installation of CCTV and security control rooms.

“These costs have already been accounted for within the ODA's budget. The ODA remains firmly on track and within budget, having identified more than £800m of savings to date.”

The five arenas that have been built for the 2011 Games include an Olympic Stadium, Aquatics centre, Velodrome, Handball and Basketball.

Staggering Figures

The total cost of designing and completing the work for the Olympic Stadium alone was a staggering £486 million.

The first venue to be completed and unveiled was the Velodrome which will play host to cycling events, followed by the Olympic Stadium which will be the main area for all track and field events.

By 2020 The Olympic Park is expected to be one of the top ten tourist destinations in London, it is estimated that 9.3 million people from the UK and abroad will visit hopefully bringing money back into the economy.

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By Amanda Bainbridge