Royal Navy ship to test 2012 Olympic Games security exercise in Weymouth waters
Royal Navy ship HMS Bulwark will sail into Weymouth waters next week as part of a security testing exercise ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.
HMS Bulwark will arrive 10 miles off Weymouth late on Monday, and will stay there for four days to play a part in the exercise to test security arrangements and systems with Dorset Police.
The ship will return to Weymouth and Portland in July for the 2012 Games, and will be used by Dorset Police as a command base during the Olympic and Paralympic windsurfing and sailing events.
Dorset is the largest Olympic and Paralympic venue outside of London and hosts the only other full time Olympic Village.
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Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting said residents would notice increased security activity in Weymouth Harbour next week.
He said: "This summer will see the ultimate celebration of sport and we are working with partners to ensure a safe and secure Games in Dorset.
“Our role includes supporting the organisers and athletes by ensuring the fields of play on the water are safe and secure – an area of approximately 50 square miles.
"To do this, we will use small watercraft, including rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and personal watercraft (jet skis), as well as launches crewed by Dorset officers and marine police officers from other forces around the country.
“In partnership with the Royal Navy, Dorset Police will have access to the widest range of maritime capabilities and expertise.”
Captain Alex Burton, of HMS Bulwark, said: “The Games is a once-in-a-generation event and it is a privilege that HMS Bulwark, and indeed other Naval aircraft, craft and ships, have been chosen to support Dorset Police in the safety and security operation.
"The training exercise next week will allow us to practise our procedures to ensure maritime security is robust but discreet during the Games providing a truly spectacular global sailing event.”
The Olympic safety and security operation in Dorset is supported by all three Services – Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force – as well as local authority and emergency service partners, particularly through the Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Local Resilience Forum.
The military support is a fundamental aspect of safety & security operations on land and in the air, as well as this aspect on the water.