Youth on bicyle manhandled to ground by Olympic Torch security

Got into 'security bubble' and pulled off bike for 'own safety'

by Sarah Barth   July 8, 2012  

London 2012 Olympic Torch (picture credit - LOCOG)

The Olympic security team manhandled to the ground a young man on a bicycle who entered the 'security bubble' yesterday.

The grey shorts-wearing Keepers of the Giant Cigarette Lighter Olympic Torch dragged the youth across the road in front of a moving car and coach, off his bike and onto the ground 'for his own security' as he had got too close to the official tracksuited runner.

The Metropolitan Police told the BBC: "A male on a pedal cycle attempted to enter the security bubble around the torchbearer. The Met's torch security team prevented him from gaining access to the torchbearer and the male fell off his bike. He immediately got back on his bike and left."

You can make your own mind up about what happened; here's the video.

 

An Olympic spokesman added: "Although there was no disruption to the relay, we'd like to remind people not to enter the security bubble, this is for their own safety as well as the torchbearer's - The Torch Relay is a moving convoy including vehicles."

20 user comments

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Ah, the Met. Always sensitive and acting appropriately in a crowd... Policeman clearly bored, or the steroids were kicking in.

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [275 posts]
8th July 2012 - 9:48

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alotronic wrote:
Ah, the Met. Always sensitive and acting appropriately in a crowd... Policeman clearly bored, or the steroids were kicking in.

Not a policeman in this case - this was an Olympic Torch security type.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [1014 posts]
8th July 2012 - 9:57

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Sarah Barth wrote:
alotronic wrote:
Ah, the Met. Always sensitive and acting appropriately in a crowd... Policeman clearly bored, or the steroids were kicking in.

Not a policeman in this case - this was an Olympic Torch security type.

Consider me corrected; BBC News says:

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has taken responsibility for the TST as traditionally the Olympics host city's police force provides torch security.

The TST has a staff of 70 unarmed officers, all doing a range of jobs, but it is the 35 "runners" who are the most noticeable despite their demure attire.

They create a security "bubble" around each torchbearer, armed with just a radio and, during sunny periods, their regulation sunglasses.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [1014 posts]
8th July 2012 - 9:59

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Seems fair enough to me. It's a clear 'don't go here' area, someone went there, they were safely and promptly removed. The fact he was on a bike makes no difference.

posted by Darkerside [62 posts]
8th July 2012 - 10:26

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This is ridiculous. The little lad was just riding along watching the torch-carrier. Just as well he wasn't smoking a pretend fag.

Typical heavy-handed British Plod. Why don't they use these tactics on a few motorised ASL-invaders and mobile phone users?

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
8th July 2012 - 10:32

1 Like

Darkerside wrote:
Seems fair enough to me. It's a clear 'don't go here' area, someone went there, they were safely and promptly removed. The fact he was on a bike makes no difference.

I'd have agreed, but on watching the video he didn't really look like he was trying to get to the torch- just nip up the outside of the line. So a bit heavy-handed by the boys in grey, but at the same time the outcome not too surprising given the job they're there to do.

But the stuff in the article about being dragged in front of a moving vehicle strikes me as trying a bit too hard to make something of it.

posted by Chuck [393 posts]
8th July 2012 - 11:19

1 Like

They didn't really have to drag him across the road - they could have just guided him off to the side he was already on.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [1014 posts]
8th July 2012 - 11:23

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Sarah Barth wrote:
They didn't really have to drag him across the road - they could have just guided him off to the side he was already on.

Heavy handed................sums-up the Olympics...........not for the general public as a whole; more for the chosen and monied few!

posted by BikerBob [115 posts]
8th July 2012 - 14:05

1 Like

Hired thugs, itching for an opportunity to lash out.

Shameful.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [256 posts]
8th July 2012 - 14:57

2 Likes

nowasps wrote:
Hired thugs, itching for an opportunity to lash out.

Shameful.

Agree Totally.......

posted by bigjeff [7 posts]
8th July 2012 - 15:25

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Bullsh1t.

How many miles have they run so far with almost no incidents?

Presumably if the lad had been allowed to ride up to the torch-bearer, armchair experts and the Daily Mail would have been wailing about inexcusable lapses in security.

One camera angle and no reports from people on the ground leaves the full picture unknown, but that doesn't seem to stop some from shooting off idiotic comments like this.

posted by don_don [149 posts]
8th July 2012 - 15:31

1 Like

Another example of nowasp's 'hired thugs' here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18671509

Perhaps this puts things in context?

posted by don_don [149 posts]
8th July 2012 - 15:48

1 Like

It's my job to keep kids safe. I teach outdoor education. If I kept a kid 'Safe' like that I'd end up in court. Why is it different for this guy?

posted by mattbibbings [103 posts]
8th July 2012 - 17:17

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It's a total farce. I just hope the momentary halt caused a 19 vehicle shunt with all the silly entourage vehicles behind it. And for the record the 'man' was a kid, and looked in far better shape than the torch carrier!! What a hopelessly orchestrated affair the entire 'torch' parade has been. Nothing more than a corporate exercise in decadence and disgrace. I just hope the games deliver something we can be proud of.

posted by carl j [23 posts]
8th July 2012 - 22:41

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Is there any more of this footage; more of before the incident? Looks like he was just trying to ride alongside?

posted by SideBurn [836 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:24

1 Like

This puts the behaviour of the Chinese "security" bods in London last time into perspective.

Remember all the hoo-hah? We can do violent and illegal policing just as well as those nasty Chinese.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
9th July 2012 - 9:05

1 Like

Sarah Barth wrote:
.... traditionally the Olympics host city's police force provides torch security.

That's okay then. I guess the original torch relay security force wrote the handbook. Has anyone suggested the final solution for BMX kids?

Bring me sunshine, and dry roads

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posted by MalcolmBinns [107 posts]
9th July 2012 - 10:59

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My wife is gutted that we don't have any olympic tickets, so at least wanted to see the torch parade. We were therefore on Deansgate in Manchester for Chris Hoy to run past.

Prior to his arrival, the Police outriders moved through slowly, and it made me smile to watch them play a PR blinder. These guys never seem happy, but they high fived and shook hands with all the kids, all smiles and relaxed, with the bottom half of the helmets raised so their faces were visible. The last rider was badged as an Inspector, and I have no doubt he had issued strict instructions to make friends.

So then the guys in the grey PE kits pass us. These guys are on camera, and all have Police ID in a holder on their upper arms (bit like an iphone holder with a transparent front). Chris passed us and stopped just a few feet away to hand over to the next runner. While the handover took place, there were people everywhere, the runners & torch were nearly swamped by photographers (pro and amateur), and all the vehicles were stationary for a few minutes. My wife leaned past the front of the following coach to get a picture and was shouted at by a WPC who leaned out of the coach door to "get out of the way before she was run over".

My missus may have been nearest to the coach, but believe me, the number of photographers wrestling with monster lenses etc in the road meant no-one was going anywhere until the torch was itself moved down the street. The officer did appear to be a bit over-zealous.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3313 posts]
9th July 2012 - 12:58

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Total over-reaction by the security and if the kid had been injured, I expect his parents would have a very strong case to sue. I know if one of my BMX riding kids was dealt with in a similar fashion, I'd want to stick up for them. A simple 'Scuse me son' and guiding him away would've been sufficient. He was a young lad on a BMX. Any security person with an IQ over 90 would realise that the lad would not pose a genuine threat. I'd say that unjustified action the guard carried out is actually an assault on a child. If the security guard does not get charged he'll be lucky. In the words of Stan Lee' With power comes responsbility' and that action wasn't in any way responsible.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2237 posts]
9th July 2012 - 18:35

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posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
9th July 2012 - 23:21

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