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Some London & other caches disabled for the summer


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Just got word from the Loly Pad, no question about complying, although owing to

prsonal commitments they may have to be disabled earlier, but I'm definitely not setting up any more challenges instead!

 

Presumably, it doesn't apply to events.

 

The London Olympics begin six weeks from now. They are closely followed by the Paralympics. Groundspeak is contacting you and all cache owners who own caches near Olympic and Paralympics venues or race routes.

 

 

We would like to avoid any negative perceptions of geocaching as a result of security concerns. We do not want geocaching to be misconstrued as a dangerous or suspicious activity. Heightened security is anticipated in these areas.

 

 

As a result we will be temporarily disabling all geocaches within one mile of event venues and race routes.  Geocaches will be disabled two weeks prior to the Opening Ceremony and we will allow cache owners to re-enable listings September 10th at the conclusion of the Paralympics.

 

 

Your help is very much appreciated.  We would like you to take the following steps:

 

Remove your cache container for the duration of the Olympics, so that it is not confiscated or destroyed by security personnel.

 

Update your cache page with the following text – which should be written in red:

 

“This cache is placed close to an Olympic venue/race route, and will be disabled from July 11th to September 10th. Please do not seek this cache during this time.”

 

We suggest you consider inviting geocachers to your cache location during the Olympics and Paralympics by creating a Geocaching Challenge there:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/challenges

 

 

Dates:

 

Olympics

 

Competition begins July 25th and concludes with the Closing Ceremony on August 12th

 

 

Paralympics

 

Competition begins August 29th and concludes with the Closing Ceremony on September 9th

 

 

One or more of your geocaches is near one of the following venues or race routes:

Venue

 

Coordinates

 

 

 

Aquatics Centre

 

N 51° 32.405

 

W 0° 0.634

 

Royal Artillery Barracks

 

N 51° 29.185

 

E 0° 3.609

 

Olympic Stadium

 

N 51° 32.318

 

W 0° 0.993

 

Wembley Arena

 

N 51° 33.483

 

W 0° 16.962

 

Basketball Arena

 

N 51° 32.910

 

W 0° 0.836

 

ExCeL London

 

N 51° 30.488

 

E 0° 1.811

 

Lee Valley White Water Centre

 

N 51° 41.299

 

W 0° 1.019

 

London Velodrome

 

N 51° 33.027

 

W 0° 0.916

 

Hadleigh Farm

 

N 51° 32.993

 

E 0° 35.912

 

BMX Track

 

N 51° 33.052

 

W 0° 0.795

 

Greenwich Park

 

N 51° 28.632

 

E 0° 0.054

 

Copper Box

 

N 51° 32.665

 

W 0° 1.221

 

North Greenwich Arena

 

N 51° 30.175

 

E 0° 0.198

 

Riverbank Arena

 

N 51° 32.949

 

W 0° 1.220

 

Hyde Park

 

N 51° 30.409

 

W 0° 9.813

 

Dorney Lake

 

N 51° 29.652

 

W 0° 40.011

 

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

 

N 50° 34.227

 

W 2° 27.321

 

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Wimbledon)

 

N 51° 26.026

 

W 0° 12.845

 

Horse Guards Parade

 

N 51° 30.276

 

W 0° 7.697

 

Earls Court Exhibition Centre

 

N 51° 29.327

 

W 0° 11.880

 

Brands Hatch

 

N 51° 21.459

 

W 0° 15.745

 

Eton Manor

 

N 51° 33.182

 

W 0° 1.014

 

Hampden Park

 

N 55° 49.543

 

W 4° 15.120

 

Millennium Stadium

 

N 51° 28.695

 

W 3° 10.958

 

Old Trafford

 

N 53° 27.789

 

W 2° 17.492

 

St James Park

 

N 54° 58.531

 

W 1° 37.296

 

Coventry City Football Club

 

N 52° 26.889

 

W 1° 29.740

 

Wembley Stadium

 

N 51° 33.358

 

W 0° 16.775

 

Lords Cricket Ground

 

N 51° 31.764

 

W 0° 10.371

 

Water Polo Arena

 

N 51° 32.477

 

W 0° 0.765

 

If you have questions about this email, or if we can assist you further, please email contact@Groundspeak.com.

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Hope that doesn't affect the huge Weymouth Olympic specials too, home of the Olympic sailing even; - five huge rings perfectly aligned of Puzzle caches set up specifically for this. Be a shame for all that work not to be available at the time when most visitors will be coming over.

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it will be a shame that the southern most section of the river Lee series will be out of commission for the duration of the games. Like Dorsetgal, I will not be setting up any challenges. Although I can understand Groundspeaks decision regarding the security concerns around certain venues I think the measures go too far as half of the London caches are likely to be disabled being within 1mile of an olympic route. Members of the public will still be allowed to walk where these caches are placed.

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How irritating is that?

 

I fully understand the reasons for shutting them down for a short while, but I was lucky enough to have access to tickets for one of the events, and was looking forward to find a few caches on one of my rare trips to the capital (Last one was in 2003 to the countryside march...). That's a bit of a lie, as I did go to the Royal Albert Hall for a concert a couple of months ago, all the same do not go there very often.

 

The added frustration is that it is a missing day on my geocaching calendar too.

 

Does this apply to Virtuals, and Earthcaches as well?

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Does this apply to Virtuals, and Earthcaches as well?

 

 

Well I expect the Virtuals and Earthcaches will be disabled for the duration, but given that there's no physical cache and the interesting/geological feature will still be there I don't suppose there's any way to stop you doing the necessary on your visit and then retrospectively log it once the cache is re-enabled.

 

Also if you look at the overlay Here there are still large parts of London which have a decent smattering of caches which are not covered by this restriction so you might be able to pick something up, espescially as they seem to consider the river a natural barrier, so even if a cache is within a mile of a venue but is the opposite side of the Thames then it doesn't look like it will be disabled (one of mine has escaped :D ).

Edited by MartyBartfast
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Caching in Oxford will be very much Open For Business ahead of the Olympics :)

It's easy to reach from London by train or coach and there's the Geolympix Mega event there on Sunday July 22nd http://coord.info/GC22T2T

 

I've a Virtual on the bank of the Thames facing Greenwich, so not within the No Caching Zone and no email receieved from Groundspeak. Same natural barrier loophole as MartyBartfast it seems, although, since mine is in a foot tunnel... :ph34r:

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I see a large area of Glasgow affected.

 

Well yes geocachers would stand out to the security staff as there do not seem to be many people going to the Olympics events here!

 

Will Glasgow be completely wiped out for the Commonwealth Games in 2014?

 

Clarinet2

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I see a large area of Glasgow affected.

 

Well yes geocachers would stand out to the security staff as there do not seem to be many people going to the Olympics events here!

 

St James Park is almost in the centre of Newcastle so the city centre is going to be a "Geocaching no-go area" for the period. I intend putting "warning" messages on my affected caches to give visitors plenty of notice.

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I see a large area of Glasgow affected.

 

Well yes geocachers would stand out to the security staff as there do not seem to be many people going to the Olympics events here!

 

I've checked out the Glasgow area on memory map - it covers a whole 14 caches! (including 5 that are currently disabled anyway and 1 virtual) Dont think we are going to be too badly affected up here :S

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Deceangi has mentioned on the caching groups on Facebook that no caches will be published after June 27th. Is this around the olympic affected areas or a whole blanket ban UK wide?

Only within those Olympic zones.

 

Chris

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website - www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk

UK Geocaching Wiki

Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

Edited by Graculus
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Deceangi has mentioned on the caching groups on Facebook that no caches will be published after June 27th. Is this around the olympic affected areas or a whole blanket ban UK wide?

Only within those Olympic zones.

 

Chris

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website - www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk

UK Geocaching Wiki

Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

 

Drat!

 

:laughing:

 

NO reviewing, lets have a break from new caches for a while. :ph34r:

 

:P

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Not impressed with this - was planning to use the summer holidays to mop up remaining Wimbledon Common and other local caches with the kids. They are not disabled for the tennis championships, this is madness! Good idea to put notes on affected caches though, I will do that.

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Not quite sure whats happening... Are the caches automatically suspended or do we have to do it if we get an email? Removal may be more of an issue at short notice, I can do the maintenance as laid down but, like now not short term. Regards Max

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I heard about this while at HQ last month. Can't say I'm extremely happy about it, but it's understandable considering what could be the results. What Groundspeak doesn't want is a major security operation conducted during the Olympics because of a Geocache. I know the British media would be all over that because they're desperate for anything bad to say about the Games.

 

Of course I'm one of the idiots that is going to try to continue working in central London during the games and alas it'll give me a credible excuse as to why my find rate has dropped off the map this year! ;)

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"As a result we will be temporarily disabling all geocaches within one mile of event venues and race routes"

(bolding mine)

 

I suspect there's room for a bit more red on the map.

Here's the route. So this should be a "red area" to one mile either side.

 

The reason that I mention Box Hill in particular is because the race takes a circuit around and up the hill, and this is repeated several times. As the hill is an SSSI and SAC, spectators have been limited to 15000 here, and entry is by ticket only. So it's similar to the main venues in London as far as security goes.

 

It does put the nature of SSSIs into perspective; when you read the National Trust page about the race (HERE), apparently the sudden influx of 15000 people (plus cars) for one day has no negative effect on the delicate ecological balance of the area. Makes you wonder why the effect of 15 extra people per year is such a contentious issue normally!

 

Anyway, I'll only be travelling to Gatwick Airport during the Olympics so hopefully won't be affected.

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If your suggested extension of the no go zone was followed most of London would be gone!

 

"As a result we will be temporarily disabling all geocaches within one mile of event venues and race routes"

(bolding mine)

 

I suspect there's room for a bit more red on the map.

Here's the route. So this should be a "red area" to one mile either side.

 

The reason that I mention Box Hill in particular is because the race takes a circuit around and up the hill, and this is repeated several times. As the hill is an SSSI and SAC, spectators have been limited to 15000 here, and entry is by ticket only. So it's similar to the main venues in London as far as security goes.

 

It does put the nature of SSSIs into perspective; when you read the National Trust page about the race (HERE), apparently the sudden influx of 15000 people (plus cars) for one day has no negative effect on the delicate ecological balance of the area. Makes you wonder why the effect of 15 extra people per year is such a contentious issue normally!

 

Anyway, I'll only be travelling to Gatwick Airport during the Olympics so hopefully won't be affected.

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Amazing nobody bothered to worry about any of this during the Jubilee ... Obviously Seattle are so out of step,they did not even realise there were millions more on the streets the past few days ... or don't they care about negative publicity associated with Her Majesty?

 

HH I spotted that right away but didn't say anything cos I didn't want to promote / induce more unnecessary knee jerk reactions. So well done for flagging it up to them on a plate ... Not!

 

To the reviewers, a question abut no publication, does this include events? A simple yes or no will do please.

Edited by Dorsetgal & GeoDog
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Amazing nobody bothered to worry about any of this during the Jubilee ... Obviously Seattle are so out of step,they did not even realise there were millions more on the streets the past few days

 

But then neither did the Govt put mobile ground to air missile bases on the top of residential tower blocks, or move a significant proportion of it's attack jets closer to London, or stick a Helicopter support vessel full of Marines on the Thames, or ..., for the Jubilee.

 

Face it folks, if anyone's paranoid or over reacting it's the powers that be (i.e. The Govt, The Met, LOCOG, The IOC). I think Groundspeak are just toeing the line here and I can fully understand why they are doing it 'cos the way things are going the plod on the streets, and the PCSOs, and the latter day Bodie & Doyles, are going to be jumping on anything at the drop of a hat that looks even remotely suspicious.

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As Dorsetgal says..... Where if anywhere has it been stated that this edict from GS has resulted from a request from LOCOG or anyone involved in the Olympic process?

 

Having said that it does make sense however the blanket ban and timings seem a tad draconian, some locations will not be involved in Paralympic competition (Hadleigh, mountain biking) and yet all caches are to be disabled until 10/9/12 when the event is over 12/8/12.

Edited by SkiBums (UK)
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As Dorsetgal says..... Where if anywhere has it been stated that this edict from GS has resulted from a request from LOCOG or anyone involved in the Olympic process?

 

Having said that it does make sense however the blanket ban and timings seem a tad draconian, some locations will not be involved in Paralympic competition (Hadleigh, mountain biking) and yet all caches are to be disabled until 10/9/12 when the event is over 12/8/12.

 

Actually a Group very heavily involved in Security for all the Olympic Venues, was involved in the discussions! The discussions about Geocaches around Olympic Venues, involved the ACPO-The Association of Chief Police Officers , LOCOG are the organisers of the Olympics, and will be involved in discussions about security. But at the end of the day, Senior Police Offers on the Ground, will have to take immediate decisions about incidents. That's what happened at Weatherby . I hope that clears up things.

 

Wendy your request for clarification about Events, taking place within the Exclusion Zones. Will be passed to Groundspeak. Events taking place outside of Exclusion Zones, will not be affected.

 

Deci

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Earthcaches are not included in the temporary disabling of caches, should one be (accidently) automatically disabled please let me know.

To quote what I have been told "The disabling will only apply to physical locations within the exclusion zone." I think this also answers the questions about Virtual Caches and Events.

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HH I spotted that right away but didn't say anything cos I didn't want to promote / induce more unnecessary knee jerk reactions. So well done for flagging it up to them on a plate ... Not!

Well if you think that the ban is unnecessary, then a half-implemented ban is totally pointless and (another) waste of taxpayers' money.

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We suggest you consider inviting geocachers to your cache location during the Olympics and Paralympics by creating a Geocaching Challenge there.

 

I think that's highly irresponsible!

 

Part of a challenge could include taking a photo. Yet as we know, photographers are also under the same amount of scrutiny - thereby also risking negative perception towards both geocaching and photographers.

 

Let's see...

Huge public expense............................................................... check!

Intrusive security measures................................................... check!

Removal of non-sponsor branded goods and clothing.............. check!

Ban on geocaching.................................................................. check!

 

Wow - so many things to be thankful to the Olympic fat cats organisers for!

 

Hopefully I'll be avoiding London for the majority of Summer, but when I cache or use a camera, I will conduct myself the same as I would when I don't cache or use a camera; with full knowledge of my rights and responsibilities; with an understanding and knowledge of certain statutes, powers and limitations of UK public servants. But I'm weird that way.

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1. Whether one is looking forward to the Olympics or not, during such a high-security and sustained event, it would seem common sense for me to reduce or even temporarily stop geocaching in sensitive areas. Even if few observers appear to be around at GZ, I strongly suspect that CCTV surveillance is heightened. Regardless of my personal rights to do XYZ, from a pragmatic perspective I would probably think twice.

 

2. That would apply to any caching activity. But now add to the mix Groundspeak's corporate image, and the ever increasing exposure of that brand's game into more mainstream areas, along with more rules and disclaimers, and it isn't at all surprising that corporate edicts will emerge around a sensitive event such as the Olympics.

 

I don't think you can have it both ways. As a pastime becomes less "subversive" and more "mainstream", it will have more mainstream consequences applied to it; a corporate sponsor such as Groundspeak will understandably wish to protect their image.

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Earthcaches are not included in the temporary disabling of caches, should one be (accidently) automatically disabled please let me know.

To quote what I have been told "The disabling will only apply to physical locations within the exclusion zone." I think this also answers the questions about Virtual Caches and Events.

That is a relief! I was wondering how to remove all the fossils at my Central London Earthcaches!

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One thing that occurred to me is that if they're all suspended automatically and then need re-enabling manually does that mean that there'll effectively be a clear out of older caches that haven't been attended for a while?

 

I know that cache owners are supposed to regularly visit their caches but there are some, such as the 'Flanopoly' series, that are still active but not being looked after. Presumably these will end for good when the ban comes into affect

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Earthcaches are not included in the temporary disabling of caches, should one be (accidently) automatically disabled please let me know.

To quote what I have been told "The disabling will only apply to physical locations within the exclusion zone." I think this also answers the questions about Virtual Caches and Events.

That is a relief! I was wondering how to remove all the fossils at my Central London Earthcaches!

Didn't know you had one in the House of Lords :anibad::laughing:

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Actually a Group very heavily involved in Security for all the Olympic Venues, was involved in the discussions! The discussions about Geocaches around Olympic Venues, involved the ACPO-The Association of Chief Police Officers , LOCOG are the organisers of the Olympics, and will be involved in discussions about security. But at the end of the day, Senior Police Offers on the Ground, will have to take immediate decisions about incidents. That's what happened at Weatherby . I hope that clears up things.

 

Wendy your request for clarification about Events, taking place within the Exclusion Zones. Will be passed to Groundspeak. Events taking place outside of Exclusion Zones, will not be affected.

 

Deci

 

Interestingly, I was recently involved in an extended tabletop exercise at NSY on calamity and catastrophe affecting our capital during games time. Not once was geocaching mentioned, although I did pop it into the conversation, it wasn't regarded as any great threat.

 

Thanks for the clarification (further down) on events, I have a well documented liking for flash mobs, so it may be time to get some onto the calendar for Olympic visitors :anitongue:

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Not in the house of Lords but nearby in Parliament Square.

 

Earthcaches are not included in the temporary disabling of caches, should one be (accidently) automatically disabled please let me know.

To quote what I have been told "The disabling will only apply to physical locations within the exclusion zone." I think this also answers the questions about Virtual Caches and Events.

That is a relief! I was wondering how to remove all the fossils at my Central London Earthcaches!

Didn't know you had one in the House of Lords :anibad::laughing:

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I have had a new cache released in Central London "Who was here No 26 The Dalek Invasion of Earth" GC3NKF5. It is on the Albert Embankment on the South Bank of the Thames so it is is not in the Olympic Red zone of Death for caches so there will be a Central London Dr Who cache for visitors to the Olympics!

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It is a shame it will be affecting so many caches, and especially those set up for the event - perhaps this should have been promoted earlier - but I DO think this is a sensible measure, will only last a short time, and while I'm not that bothered about the image of Geocaching (Really? What we do is harmless), the reality is that these are terrorist/alert hotspots and eyes will be on anyone acting suspiciously and I wouldn't personally enjoy being bundled into a police or army van by very stressed people and left to chill in a cell for a few hours until somebody was ready to question me, all the time hoping they believed me.

 

I wonder if slug survey teams are also being stood down for the duration?

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It is a shame it will be affecting so many caches, and especially those set up for the event - perhaps this should have been promoted earlier - but I DO think this is a sensible measure, will only last a short time, and while I'm not that bothered about the image of Geocaching (Really? What we do is harmless), the reality is that these are terrorist/alert hotspots and eyes will be on anyone acting suspiciously and I wouldn't personally enjoy being bundled into a police or army van by very stressed people and left to chill in a cell for a few hours until somebody was ready to question me, all the time hoping they believed me.

 

I wonder if slug survey teams are also being stood down for the duration?

16 caches temporarily removed 3 to go!

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I'm struggling to know how to react to this as, on the one hand it seems like a very trivial complaint from a very small section of the public while on the other I wanted to take my kids geocaching in Newcastle City Centre today and discover that I can't because of 6 football matches at St James' Park finishing on 4th August but lasting till 10th September. I'm furious, as I have little interest in the Olympics and have been utterly dismayed at the levels of sycophancy and collective hysteria surrounding it (60,000 people turning up to see a flame? Really?)Whilst agreeing that there is a heightened security risk (though we aren't being told whether this is an actual threat or paranoia) it seems draconian to shut off a source of exercise and enjoyment for an admittedly small section of the population. What is most annoying is knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do, just suck it up and hope that everything else isn't similarly disrupted.

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I'm struggling to know how to react to this as, on the one hand it seems like a very trivial complaint from a very small section of the public while on the other I wanted to take my kids geocaching in Newcastle City Centre today and discover that I can't because of 6 football matches at St James' Park finishing on 4th August but lasting till 10th September. I'm furious, as I have little interest in the Olympics and have been utterly dismayed at the levels of sycophancy and collective hysteria surrounding it (60,000 people turning up to see a flame? Really?)Whilst agreeing that there is a heightened security risk (though we aren't being told whether this is an actual threat or paranoia) it seems draconian to shut off a source of exercise and enjoyment for an admittedly small section of the population. What is most annoying is knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do, just suck it up and hope that everything else isn't similarly disrupted.

 

Interestingly in London the Thames seems to be considered a natural barrier, so caches within 1 mile of a venue aren't disabled if they're the opposite side of the Thames, whereas in newcastle they've disabled several on the Gateshead side of the Tyne which are within 1 mile of St James' Park.

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Amazing nobody bothered to worry about any of this during the Jubilee ... Obviously Seattle are so out of step,they did not even realise there were millions more on the streets the past few days

 

But then neither did the Govt put mobile ground to air missile bases on the top of residential tower blocks, or move a significant proportion of it's attack jets closer to London, or stick a Helicopter support vessel full of Marines on the Thames, or ..., for the Jubilee.

 

Face it folks, if anyone's paranoid or over reacting it's the powers that be (i.e. The Govt, The Met, LOCOG, The IOC). I think Groundspeak are just toeing the line here and I can fully understand why they are doing it 'cos the way things are going the plod on the streets, and the PCSOs, and the latter day Bodie & Doyles, are going to be jumping on anything at the drop of a hat that looks even remotely suspicious.

 

It's just as well Groundspeak don't close down caches for the Tour de France isn't it! And has anyone worked out yet what happens to a plane shot down by a guided missile?? Wouldn't it achieve just what a terrorist would want by falling on a densely populated area or Olympic arena??

 

Chris

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Amazing nobody bothered to worry about any of this during the Jubilee ... Obviously Seattle are so out of step,they did not even realise there were millions more on the streets the past few days

 

But then neither did the Govt put mobile ground to air missile bases on the top of residential tower blocks, or move a significant proportion of it's attack jets closer to London, or stick a Helicopter support vessel full of Marines on the Thames, or ..., for the Jubilee.

 

Face it folks, if anyone's paranoid or over reacting it's the powers that be (i.e. The Govt, The Met, LOCOG, The IOC). I think Groundspeak are just toeing the line here and I can fully understand why they are doing it 'cos the way things are going the plod on the streets, and the PCSOs, and the latter day Bodie & Doyles, are going to be jumping on anything at the drop of a hat that looks even remotely suspicious.

 

It's just as well Groundspeak don't close down caches for the Tour de France isn't it! And has anyone worked out yet what happens to a plane shot down by a guided missile?? Wouldn't it achieve just what a terrorist would want by falling on a densely populated area or Olympic arena??

 

Chris

 

Excluding Weatherby, there have been incidents with Police based at both Birmingham Airport (2-3 miles away from the Airport Boundary) and Manchester Airport (whose Senior officers wanted a 2 mile exclusion zone around the Airport Boundary) due to the behaviour of Geocachers, not the containers being found.

 

But the biggest over reaction, was at Albert Docks Liverpool. When a Geocacher was Challenged by Security Staff, who had watched the Geocacher on CCTV. Moved towards the Geocacher shouting "Drop the Detonator" , said Detonator being his GPSr.

 

Now imagine the Security Forces, near to a Olympic Venue, being called to someone acting in a very suspicions manner. It would create havoc, especially if the venue was closed down.

 

Deci

Edited by Deceangi
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