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7,000 military personnel to beef up Olympic security

The government are expected to confirm today that around 7,000 military personnel will help guard the Olympic venues and training facilities next summer.

The number of security guards required for Olympic venues has risen from initial estimates of 10,000 to a new figure of 23,700, forcing organisers to seek help from the military and volunteers.

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 organising committee, revealed that around 3,000 volunteers would be used at security checkpoints.

The military contingent will be made up of regular soldiers and reservists. Ministers have insisted that their deployment will not affect operations elsewhere.

There will also be up to 12,000 police officers deployed throughout the Games.

The sports and Olympics minister, Hugh Robertson, has defended the increased security costs.

"Security is, relatively speaking, the last piece of the puzzle. You need to have the venues constructed and then, crucially, the competition overload put on top of that. The security was always going to be the last thing we did," he said.

"In a sense there should be absolutely no embarrassment for anybody in government, or anybody organising the Games, saying we are paying whatever is necessary in order to deliver a safer and secure Games."

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