NEWS

Security services dealt with 738 emergency cases

Security forces dealt effectively and discreetly with threats that arose during the Games without spoiling Athens’s party mood. Figures released by the Public Order Ministry show the 34,680 security officers on duty during the Olympic Games were called on to deal with 738 cases. Of those 738 cases, 219 concerned large VIP gatherings which called for a general mobilization, 134 reports of suspicious objects, 74 bomb threats, 82 «high-risk» demonstrations and 229 «other security issues» including 84 lost objects within the Olympic venues, six discoveries of suspicious powder (such as the one found at the airport post office), 16 illegal ticket sales, four cases of drug possession and use, three robberies, 20 attempts to enter Olympic venues without permission, eight serious accidents and four cases of possession of counterfeit documents. Similar cases occurred during the Paralympic Games, including 15 bomb threats and checks of three suspicious objects. Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said that of all cases, 84 called for a general mobilization of the crisis management councils. «During the opening ceremony, at about 10.10 p.m. there was a warning of a bomb on the perimeter of the stadium. The entire system went into action within a short period of time. It was found to be a hoax. Something similar occurred during the closing ceremony, when at 11.43 p.m. someone called a newspaper to say a bomb had been placed at one of the floating hotels. We quietly did what was necessary and found it to be another hoax.» There were more bomb hoaxes on the metro. The discovery that two Russians accompanying their country’s team had entered the Olympic Village with the wrong accreditation brought about another general mobilization. «We were afraid they were Chechens, but our fears were dispelled,» said Voulgarakis. Reports that reached the National Information Service (EYP) regarding a terrorist attack on Western, Russian and Israeli targets also caused concern. (Outgoing) EYP Director Pavlos Apostolidis «investigated all data and it was found there was no cause for concern.» As for the other security arrangements, it was estimated that human resources were 98.84 percent effective, police helicopters 100 percent, Olympic venue security cameras 97.16 percent, other cameras 86.36 percent, but the zeppelin that hovered over the city just 56.68 percent effective.