Aerial view of the Olympic Park showing the Olympic Stadium and warm-up track in the foreground. Picture taken on 16 April 2012.
Last month, BJP reported on restrictions imposed by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) on large photographic and broadcast equipment over 30cm in length for ticket-holder visitors. At the time, a spokeswoman for the committee told BJP that such equipment could be accepted in certain venues.
"Some venues will be more flexible," she said. "For example, if you're attending an event in Green Park, there'll be more space for spectators, so security might allow you to get in with larger equipment. But that won't be the case at the Olympic Stadium," where large lenses and tripods could interfere with spectators' view of the sporting events.
However, BJP and ComputerActive, another Incisive Media publication, have found that Wembley Stadium, which will host football events during the Olympic Games, will prohibit any kind of "professional-style cameras [any camera with interchangeable lenses] or recording/transmitting devices".
The rules would, in effect, ban the use of any DSLRs, as well as mirrorless, compact interchangeable lens cameras manufactured by Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Pentax and Olympus. Panasonic is an official Olympics sponsor.
Asked to clarify the rules, a spokesman for LOCOG has declined. "It is generally felt that it would be impractical to publish a definitive list of cameras and lenses that would, or would not, meet the requirements, especially in view of the time constraints of a security test conducted on thousands of people entering a sports venue at a concentrated time," he said.
"You are right in saying that interchangeable lenses are now commonplace, and for this reason the intention is to take a responsible but pragmatic approach," the spokesman added. "We trust that your readers will have the sufficient technical knowledge to sense what would and would not be allowed – as is common at all major events these days – and that they enjoy their Olympic experience."
When asked whether security officers had been briefed on the differences between non-professional and professional photographic equipment, the spokesman did not respond.
This refusal comes as the Home Office and LOCOG are facing criticism over security operations at the Olympics. "The depth of the crisis over G4S's Olympic security preparations became increasingly clear [recently] as recruits revealed details of a 'totally chaotic' selection process and police joined the military in bracing themselves to fill the void left by the private security contractor," according to The Guardian.
G4S received a £284m contract to provide 13,700 guards at the Olympics, but only has 4,000 in place, The Guardian reported. "It says a further 9,000 are in the pipeline," but it is unclear whether they will receive proper training less than two weeks before the Games begin.
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