Less than 24 hours after CityNews broke exclusive details on a Pan Am Games security breach at Exhibition Place, police have confirmed a second breach at a different location.
Over the weekend a woman rode her bike through an opening in the security fence surrounding the athletes’ village on Front Street.
Police said the woman was stopped immediately and asked to leave the area. Officials said they don’t think there was any criminal intent to her actions, but that she simply didn’t know she wasn’t allowed to cut through the area.
“We’ll be looking into it to see exactly why this happened. Most importantly, we have to make sure that the athletes are safe,” Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said.
Athletes’ Village will be home to 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials during the games. Several athletes have already made the village their temporary home.
Saunders said he has no concerns about the security for the games.
“I’m assuming and guaranteeing, chances are that no one would be able to cycle through now,” he said. “Once it is open fully it will be as secure as it is supposed to be.”
On Monday, multiple police sources with direct knowledge of the incidents told CityNews that a perimeter fence installed at Exhibition Place wasn’t properly secured after police did an extensive security sweep.
The area is home to the Pan Am Park (PAP) which includes five competition venues, the largest sports cluster at the games, as well as the media centre.
The fence was said to be leaning up against a wall on the north side of the venue – on the Gardiner Expressway side of the Direct Energy Centre – and that many people have been using the opening as a gate or shortcut since the weekend.
In a statement released Monday night, Pan Am officials said the fence breach has since been repaired.
“We are committed to providing a safe environment for spectators, athletes, employees and volunteers and to ensure all of our venues can be accessed safely.
“During routine inspection of the fence around Pan Am Park, the (Integrated Security Unit) determined that additional security measures were required. Those improvements are now being completed.”
— Jeff Taylor (@JeffTaylorTPS) July 7, 2015
Although it’s believed that neither breach was done with criminal intent, security expert David Hyde said this should be a wakeup call to those responsible for the game’s safety.
“We’re living in times where the terrorism threat in Canada and globally, is real and present,” he explained. “We don’t need to be unnerved by it but we need to be on guard and vigilant and focused.”
The estimated cost of security for the Pan Am Games is $239 million – more than double its original estimate.