London 2012: Missile tenants lose legal ruling

Residents have lost their High Court battle to prevent surface-to-air missiles being stationed on the roof of their tower block during the Olympics.

They had said having them on Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone, east London, would make them a terrorist target.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said the missile deployment is legitimate and proportionate.

A judge said residents were “under something of a misapprehension” regarding the equipment and risks.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said he agreed with the MoD that a tower block was the only suitable site for missiles and the facts of the case were “not susceptible to a sensible challenge”.

He added the MoD’s voluntary engagement with the community over the plans was “immaculate” and the residents who challenged the missile sites had misunderstood the facts.

Read more at BBC

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Armed forces on Olympics standby

The UK’s armed forces are on standby to provide an additional 3,500 troops to help with security at the 2012 London Olympics, the BBC has learned.

It comes amid fears that private contractor G4S would not be able to provide enough trained staff in time.

The armed forces were already providing some 13,500 personnel – this could now reach 17,000, meaning summer leave for some troops will likely be cancelled.

G4S said it had “some issues in relation to workforce supply”.

The company is being paid £300m to guard the Games, but the BBC understands it has not been able to guarantee it can supply the 10,000 guards it has been contracted to deliver.

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London 2012: Major Olympic security test unveiled

30 April 2012

Details of a major Olympic security exercise involving the deployment of Royal Navy ships, RAF helicopters and jets have been unveiled.

Exercise Olympic Guardian takes place on land, sea and air in the London and Weymouth areas between 2 and 10 May.

It has also been revealed that surface-to-air missiles could be deployed at six sites during the games.

Dummy missiles will be placed on two buildings in east London and four other sites as part of the exercise.

The sites, chosen from an original list of 100, include the Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, east London.

The four other London sites identified as suitable for Rapier missiles are Blackheath Common; Oxleas Wood, Eltham; William Girling Reservoir, Enfield and Barn Hill in Epping Forest.

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The Ministry of Defence has stressed that the government has not yet decided to deploy ground-based air defence systems during the Games.

Brian Whelan, a resident of one of the east London estates, said firing the missiles “would shower debris across the east end of London”.

Standing joint commander General Sir Nick Parker said the decision on the missiles would be taken “at the very highest political level”.

Referring to this week’s exercise he said the military advice to the government “will depend on the success of that test”.

Asked whether debris would fall on urban areas if a missile was fired, Gen Parker said: “I accept that this is a very, very challenging situation.”

At a security briefing it was also announced this week’s exercise will include:

Read More: BBC News