The £6.5m cost of policing the Olympic Torch – get the data

Policing the Olympic torch procession cost taxpayers almost £6.5m nationally, according to a series of Freedom of Information requests by Gesbeen Mohammad.

The spending includes the costs incurred to local police authorities throughout the UK for the 56 days the Olympic Torch went around the country.

The Metropolitan Police Service spent the most – not surprisingly as the torch spent a week in London and was perhaps the most obvious target for disruption.

Over a quarter of their spending – half a million – was spent on overtime for police and staff. The figure includes a £850,000 grant the Metropolitan Police Service received from the Home Office. Continue reading

Cyclists arrested as the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony takes place, where are they this morning?

The morning after a pro-cycling group were prevented from taking their monthly London route news comes in of clashes with the Police. The London Critical Mass group of approximately one hundred fifty cyclists broke through the police cordons, in place for the Olympic opening ceremony. Reports and images have come in of over one hundred arrests, including claims of a policeman pepper spraying a disabled man on a tricycle. Who was the pepper sprayed man? Follow the unfolding of events today.

[View the story “Critical mass, where are the cyclists this morning?” on Storify]

Useful Olympic links for July 25th through July 27th

Here are the Olympic-related links we’ve been looking at over the last week from July 25th through July 27th:

  • The Olympic Torch and how to game an eBay auction | The Albert Memorial is still there – Looking at the actual bidders in the actual auctions for each individual torch, the auctions are set to either private (so the usernames of the bidders are hidden), or from bidders apparently new to eBay with low feedback scores or histories of buying other items. There is also no indication of a behaviour of bidders bidding for one torch, being outbid, and then moving on to a torch with lower current bids – all the bidders seem to be clustered around just the one torch their bidding is attached to. What this indicates to me is that actually most of the bidding on London 2012 Olympic torches is not genuine – that most of it is being carried out by sock puppets, false eBay identities created in order to artificially up the bidding of items in order to create the impression of higher demand and a high value.
  • Continue reading