Critics assail London's Olympic security plan
To prevent possible acts of terrorism, the country has also considered deploying surface-to-air missiles on the rooftops of apartment buildings. Critics fear that having so many extra officers will lead to tension, unjustified costs and will make the city seem like a war zone, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"You need a robust security effort," Stephen Graham, an expert on cities and urban life at Newcastle University, said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I just think this goes beyond robust into the realms of the surreal sometimes when you look at the level of investment."
The current security costs for the London Olympics is at $875 million and counting, contributing to an increase of the total Olympic budget from less than $4 billion to $15 billion. While the high security is meant to deter would-be terrorists, some residents worry the defense systems could be used against the host city.
"What happens if the missiles become a target and terrorists try to take the tower block out by exploding them?" Flash Bristow, the chairwoman of a residents association, said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The trouble is that we just don't know what's going on. All that people have got is their imagination."
The surface-to-air missile batteries were set up for a drill at six sites throughout London and if deployed would have a range of up to five miles with a speed of approximately 2,300 miles per hour. Officials with the military declined to speculate about what collateral damage could occur as a result of the missiles.