Cruise ship for Olympic police?

//Cruise ship for Olympic police?

The Dorset harbour of Portland is the UK base for RMS St Helena, the supply ship which provides a vital link for the remote south Atlantic island of the same name, and this week the town has been host to a couple of visiting cruise ships.
Oceania’s Insignia and Holland America’s Westerdam were in port for a few hours each, as passengers set off on excursions as far apart as Weymouth and Stonehenge.
It’s possible a cruise ship will be berthed in Portland for rather longer in 2012, when Weymouth Bay will be the venue for the Olympic sailing events. Local officials are considering proposals to charter an 800-passenger capacity ship to provide accommodation – not for the 2,000 competitors and officials, or even for spectators . . . but for the police.
The plan has provoked controversy locally, and not for the reason I first suspected – which was why would as many as 800 officers be required to provide security for one of sport’s more genteel pursuits, and are they all going to be provided with jet skis to patrol the waters?
But no. Apparently, local officials have got wind of what happened when Canadian police were billeted on a cruise ship in Vancouver during this year’s Winter Olympics and there was a spate of misconduct and bad behaviour reported among the police themselves. There were allegations of drunkenness, sexual assaults, and even lost guns.
Actually, I reckon the biggest question should be why do the local authorities think that the anticipated cost of £6.6 million could possibly be considered, as reported by none other than BBC Dorset, as “relatively cheap.” If that’s what they are prepared to pay, I’m expecting to see a queue of cruise ships lining up to go alongside for eight weeks.

By | 2010-08-05T00:06:23+00:00 5 August 2010|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Thomas Jordan 5 August 2010 at 9:03 am - Reply

    There were plans not long ago to site a prison ship at Portland. It would have looked like a giant portacabin on a barge. That’s the sort of thing they should be looking for if they need to house the police somewhere. Then they could use a proper cruise ship for spectators who could afford to pay. Six million for the police is outrageous.

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