Andrew Amery

Andrew Amery

Head of Security, London 2012

Synopsis

Having organised security for big national and royal events, Andrew was an obvious choice to take on the security of the London 2012 Olympics. Covering everything from on-site petty criminality to terrorism and large-scale cyber attacks, Andrew looks at the threats any organisation might now face and how they dealt with them during the ‘greatest show on Earth’.

Biography

Andrew Amery was the Head of Security for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. After a career in Royal close protection, Andrew was assigned to lead all security issues for the funeral of the Queen Mother and the Golden Jubilee before being recruited by Locog.

Charged with overseeing all security for London 2012, Andrew’s role was vast in scope and responsibility. From cyber attacks to public order, petty crime within venues to terrorist threats, Andrew had to co-ordinate a plan to deal with all of them. Working with the military, the police, the government and the IOC, he had to constantly balance the demands of competing, usually intransigent groups. As well as the domestic organisations, Andrew also had to work with (and sometimes against) the security and police forces from every country represented at the games.

Having been the first person appointed to deal with security, initially for the Olympic bid, and then throughout the process, Andrew saw his team grow exponentially from a few to a few hundred, and ultimately to a few thousand staff and management. He had to incorporate the priorities of organisers, sponsors, government, the public and participants where the needs of thousands of people to attend an enjoyable event were measured against the risk of potential and perceived threats.

In addition to the huge co-ordinating and partnership management role, Andrew was on the frontline of dealing with the fallout from the G4S crisis when the private contractor revealed it was unable to provide sufficient manpower. The incident underlined the value of contingency and analysing expectations.

As well as the lessons from 2012, Andrew is one of the UK’s leading security professionals and can address the ‘nuts and bolts’ of security management, strategy and planning as well as assessing how organisations view security. He also speaks after dinner about the thankless task of security (if you’re good, nothing happens and everyone wonders why they bothered, if you fail...) and some of the strange requests and experiences he had in his career.

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