Transforming security: Insights from Christophe Delaye’s keynote at Milipol Paris

In his keynote address at Milipol Paris as part of this year’s conference series, Christophe Delaye, Security Advisor for the Interministerial Delegation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (DIJOP), shared his extensive insights into the security transformations underway for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. His address ahead of the panel discussion “The Olympic Games as vectors of transformation and legacy” was rich in detail and vision, and highlighted the integral role of security in shaping the future of such international events.

Mr Delaye began by reflecting on his long-term involvement with the Olympic Games, which began on December 14, 2015. He emphasised how the Games serve as a catalyst for transformation, not just in terms of sports but also in professional enrichment and experience. Mr Delaye remarked, “I am a living example of the Games as a factor of transformation, not only for the Olympic and Paralympic Games but simply for the acquired experience and professional enrichment in the preparation of this unprecedented, incredible event.”

The keynote was structured in two parts: the general framework for transformation and preparation of legacy, and specific transformations in security. Mr Delaye stressed the importance of the notion of legacy, now intrinsic to the organisation of modern international sports events, particularly the Olympics. He highlighted the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 20-20 initiative, which aims to make the Games more sustainable and responsible, moving away from excessive expenditure and underutilised infrastructure.

Mr Delaye also addressed the challenges faced due to the pandemic, which affected the Tokyo Games, and discussed the importance of credibility in event organisation. He reflected on the bid for the 2012 London Games and the subsequent changes that led to Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 being the only two candidates. This situation prompted a shift in how the Games were perceived and organised.

Significantly, he highlighted the transformations in security, including technological advancements and the implementation of intelligent video surveillance. He stressed the need for balance, avoiding rushed solutions that might impact public acceptability. “Firstly, it is the transformation in the preparation of events and games in the city, by the centre in particular, which raises the question of the constraints and acceptability of traffic and safety measures on the population. This means that we are constantly looking for ways to balance and compensate for flexibility.” The approach to security at the Olympic Games has evolved to become a driver for initiating and accelerating transformations beyond the event, particularly in the field of intelligent video technology.

Mr Delaye also detailed lessons learned from past sporting events held in France including the Euro 2016 and the 2019 Women’s World Cup. He discussed the development of security doctrines for fan zones, the integration of spectator experience into security planning, and the emphasis on anti-terrorism measures. He mentioned the unfortunate events of the Champions League in May 2022 but assured that lessons were learned to enhance expertise and determination in preparing for the Olympics.

The advisor touched upon the international dimension of security preparation with regard to the importance of coordination and cooperation. He spoke about the national risk analysis based on ISO 31000 standards, identifying risks and countermeasures, and the integrated chain of command between the organising committee and state operations.

Mr Delaye concluded by underscoring the importance of these Games in driving future transformations and the lasting impact of the Games on France’s planning and operational capabilities, linking to the following panel discussion’s theme: “The games are clearly characterised by a number of heritage markers.”

Throughout his keynote, Christophe Delaye offered a comprehensive and forward-looking perspective on the security preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. His insights reflect a deep commitment to ensuring not just the safety and success of the upcoming events but also to leveraging these Games as a platform for broader, enduring transformations in security and event management.

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Top image credit: Interpol

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