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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Olympic Security
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Olympic Security
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Bill the Cat



Joined: Apr 02, 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:55 pm    Post subject: Olympic Security Reply with quote

I have been wondering something for a while and wanted to get some opinons from more experienced cachers.

With the Olympics just around the corner and all the security involved with them are you as a cacher going to curtail your caching activites? With many of the areas around Vancouver and Whistler being under greater security would it be wise to be wandering around with a GPS looking for "funny packages"? I for one would not want to have to explain what I was doing while looking down the business end of an M-16 or Browning. I am not nesescarly talking about stopping all together but I do think that some extra caution is warranted.

Let me know what you think. Bill the Cat Cat
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:54 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

Whistler and Vancouver will be under a lot of scrutiny during the Olympics. So any cache within a kilometer (maybe 500m) of an Olympic venue is not a smart thing. And that includes the new Vancouver Convention Centre and the entire Sea to Sky corridor.

Although I realize that there will be some enthusiasts that will want to plant a cache dedicated to the Olympics, anyone that places a cache at the Ski Jump, Richmond Oval, Bob sleigh track etc is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I'd be shaking my head more at the people silly enough to go find and log the cache. It'll be one of them that causes the bomb scare just as much as the person placing the cache.

Although I do not believe the BCGA should be involved in policing, the BCGA is perhaps the best association to let the approver know about all the potential hot spots associated with the Olympics. And that should be done NOW instead of later.

There will be sniffer dogs and dive teams all over the place. Any suspiscious package by an Olympic venue, media outlet or close to the Sea to Sky Highway will be blown up. And every blown up geocache will be in the news since the world will be watching British Columbia.

There were frogmen diving, low planes flying, ground police patrolling around Expo 86 every day just as part of security. I suspect the security will be stronger during the Olympics.

I'd highly suggest anyone that has a current cache by an olympic venue to pick it up and temporarily disable it until the Olympics are over.
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Bill the Cat



Joined: Apr 02, 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

Sruffy you are right on. This is a good time to start preparing for the olympics. I don't have any caches near any of the venues but will certainly think very carefully about where I will place mine over the next year. Anybody else got a comment? Bill the Cat Cat
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goaliegirl38



Joined: Apr 19, 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, or driving in between

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

scruffster wrote:

There were frogmen diving, low planes flying, ground police patrolling around Expo 86 every day just as part of security. I suspect the security will be stronger during the Olympics.


Drat, so much for placing the underwater cache I had planned in False Creek that I was going to unveil for Blitz... Back to the drawing board!


Last edited by goaliegirl38 on Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:32 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

goaliegirl38 wrote:


Drat, so much for placing the underwater cache I had planned in False Creek that I was going to unveil for Blitz... Back to the drawing board!

make sure it's an ammo box, just to make it really exciting!

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
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legacypac



Joined: Feb 26, 2007
Posts: 29
Location: Chilliwack - or where ever the GPS Says I am

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

Vancouver will be the first Olympics that caching could be a big issue. Beijing has no caching community per se, very few caches, and none placed anywhere near an Olympic venue (I've found nearly all of them so I know).

Turin and Athens might have had some caches, but even today there are less then 3000 caches in all Italy, and under 600 in Greece.

We need to protect our sport from being banned/getting a black eye because some people are not thinking.

The existing guidelines address caches on/near potential terrorist targets. Any Olympic Venue is clearly a high profile potential terrorist target. Therefore submitting a cache near an Olympic Venue is against the existing rules.

The reviewer has no way of knowing about what is sensitive in the Olympics. Unlike schools, Olympic venues don't show up on maps. We have a responsibility to be careful with our hides and hunts.

I've got one key holder hide close to the Sea to Sky. While not likely to be suspected as a very small bomb, the activities of cachers searching for it could be an issue. I wonder if I should archive it?

Seems like the caches inside regular parks should be ok, but anything near the Highway should really go.
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Bill the Cat



Joined: Apr 02, 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

So here is my question. How do we get this out to the general caching community. I will admit that when I first started caching I didn't really read the guidelines for placing a cache ( I know stupid! I have since corrected that.) and I don't know how many cachers have actually read them. There was that cache placed on the granville street bridge last week however brief that might have been. This tells me that there are at least a few around that haven't read the guidelines or are choosing to ignore them. Maybe I am being overly concerned but I also play paintball and there are those in that community who break the rules or ingnore them causing the majority to look bad to the general public. I really enjoy this sport and would hate to have it over regulated or banned. Bill the Cat Cat
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

Here's a start. The below picture is a map of the venues in Downtown and East Vancouver. These are the definite hotspots but the venues are definitely not limited to these areas. Cypress Mountain, including the route up, will not be open to the general public during the Olympics along with the Sea to Sky Highway.



Bill the Cat has a good point on the Sea to Sky highway issue. If you have a cache at Shannon Falls, Helmeken Falls or deep in the parks, there is definitely no need to disable the caches. This would only be for caches that are within about 20 or so meters of the highway. The same would go for major routes to the local venues such as the road up to Cypress Bowl.

Many people don't remember Expo and excatly how tight the security can be -- expecially when there are dignitaries from all over the world visiting.
The security teams will be on the hunt for any suspiscious package (especially after the bomb at the Atlanta Games). And they will have no problem turning one geocache into an international incident just to prove how vigilant they are. It may seem like I'm spewing scare tactics but we've seen what one local news story can do. Imagine the media from around the world looking for a security angle. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Vancouver / Whistler will end up being the poster child for stricter geocaching regulations around the world.
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

I concur that it will be stricter then ever - As they are laying off the people -


Hastings Park racecourse in East Vancouver will have to close and lay off staff during the Winter Olympics next year, CBC News has learned.


My own personal opinions aside on the whole olympics thing (this is not a place for politics) I would likely even suggest the entire Vancouver Core should be off limits during the olympics - even caches near a hotel etc could be subject to scrutiny - Where are people staying? The hotels in Vancouver

As well based on the Kelowna event - anything in the near area even not in an impacted region will have peoples imaginations in overdrive.. and if someone reports anything suspicious even miles away it could be an issue.

j/K about this suggestion below .. lol

Maybe an "off limits" group should be arranged and send e-mails to all the owners of caches there.. lol and then for owners who haven't removed them temporarily go grab them temporarily 20 days before the olympics to keep anything from happening and then replace them afterwards, place them on a webcam so the owners and those concerned could watch them and ensure their safety and that the caches weren't sleeping alone .. lol It will protect geocaching from the evil clutches of those with conspiracy theories.. ooohhh I can see a whole new caching series evolve.. and novel writing..

But seriously I would think about the whole downtown being off limits temporarily. (Defining Downtown as not just the core - but the entire area - kind of like a circle - nothing within 10 miles etc)
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Bill the Cat



Joined: Apr 02, 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:40 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

I remember when the APEC conference was here there where police on every street corner in the downtown core. They even took away the mail boxes and newspaper boxes. I would imagine that we will see similar in your face security and possibly a military presence as well. I like the idea of the downtown core being off limits. Sruffy is there any way to send your map to Groundspeak so that they can post it on the web site with a warning to all cachers? Lets face it that is probably the best way to warn cachers to be careful. Bill the Cat Cat
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plumbrokeacres



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 172
Location: Prince George BC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:06 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

This is defiantly something we as the BCGA should and will be looking at Thanks for bringing it up!
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

The map above is just something I did quickly. It is not complete by any means. Here is a link to a map that shows all the venues...

http://www.vancouverinfocenter.com/vancouver_2010_venues_map.html

Still, the map only includes the venues, not all the places that will be used by the athletes. I believe places like 4 Rinks in Burnaby, the West End Community Centre and other arenas around the city will be used for practice. I don't know if they should also be included or if they'll be under the same scrutiny as the actual venues.
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

It's not the locals I worry about, but the tourists coming in that may want to hunt caches. They either will not be able to get to them, or draw some unwanted attention. Most people in the lower mainland have done some downtown caches, and have opportunity to get them outside of the Olympics.

Really VANOC security should be made aware of it, and they can deal with it directly with Groundspeak.

Or VANCOC can be made aware of and accomidate or encourage it, though remember, you can't use the 5 rings symbol in a cache!

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icdgirl



Joined: Jan 22, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

What a timely topic. I've hadn't even thought of the ramifications for geocaching, but had recently become aware of how the Olympics will affect my work travel, since I use Pacific Coastal Airlines a lot.

This is a partial quote of a posting on their website:

"For the period from January 29th 2010 to March 24th 2010, surrounding the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Integrated Security Unit has been mandated to ensure enhanced security measures, procedures and restrictions similar to those experienced internationally at other major events.

An Olympic Control Area, which consists of a 13 nautical mile radius ring around YVR, has been established. Pre-authorization and passenger / baggage /freight screening will be required before access to the Olympic Control Area is approved. "
(so they may have to cancel flights from smaller airports that don't have security screening in place...)

Perhaps if the BCGA ensured that all caches in these restricted zones were clearly labelled geocaches (as they are supposed to be), and they were deactivated during that time, then it would reduce the risk of bad publicity?
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Bill the Cat



Joined: Apr 02, 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:14 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

O.K. I work as a printer and the 24Hrs we printed tonight has an article about Vanoc's security team placing a fence across False Creek under the Cambie Bridge. The article wasn't clear but I would guess that means all of eastern False Creek will be off limits to protect the athletes village. It did mention that it will be in place Janurary to March!!!!! I would guess that this will be the rule for all of the venues around Vancouver and Whistler. So caches in those areas will definitely need to be disabled if not pulled all together. I noticed a new one popped up at Canada Place today, it will be definitely off limits as this it where the security forces will have their headquarters. Bill the Cat Cat
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Mach2003dead



Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

I was just thinking...

Temproary disabling all caches within the secure areas is a MUST, but the cache will also have to be phycially removed prior to the events, perhaps more than a month prior to the events so advance security scans will not discover them.

Cachers who come to visit the events will most certany want to find some caches while they are there, perhaps even make a longer stay in order to find some of BC's most well placed caches (who wouldn't want to spend a couple of weeks caching here?)

Just how far from a "secured" place would be an acceptable distance to keep or place a cache?
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Lumbo-Tire



Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Victoria, BC

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

Okay gang, being a cacher and in the military; which one will prevail during the Olympics? Well, the one I will be paid to do. Military.

Now, a lot of you are wondering what to do about caching in the areas near the venues and Olympic sites; be they Media Center Venues, or Athlete's Villages?!?

My answer to that. DON'T!! At least not within a kilometer of a site. Yes, it will look very suspicious for you to be going around with a little device in your hand, looking for something small, and / or replacing the little package. It may not just be the military with their C7 rifles pointed at you, it may well be our own RCMP officers with their 10mm pistols.

If they aren't oo sure of your storyof looking for a small treasure box, you just might find yourself being held at a questioning center for a few hours.

So the big thing, don't go hiding or seeking caches within at least a kilometer of any Olympic site.

Lumbo-Tire of Victoria

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Just remember my motto:
A Place For Everything, and Everything in Its Place.
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Aerodoq



Joined: Apr 01, 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

I've been wondering about this. I own a multi at Cypress Mountain that has a number of small physical caches at 5 waypoints on Mt. Strachan. The first stage is, however, very close to the Cypress Bowl parking lot.

In the winter, the caches are all buried under snow. As, I might add, are all the other mountain caches there.

Should I bother deactivating this multi for the Olympics? Should I bother collecting the containers? They will be quite buried by the time February 2010 rolls around.

A>

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Cache stats and map
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legacypac



Joined: Feb 26, 2007
Posts: 29
Location: Chilliwack - or where ever the GPS Says I am

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

Aerodoq - seems like you might disable the cache when it is unfindable under a lot of snow anyway? No threat seems posed by caches deep under snow.

Limbo-tire - great perspective. Thanks for your comments.
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olipe



Joined: Sep 13, 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Olympic Security Reply with quote

All of this is great advice, but there is that part of me (and that would be the funny/giggle part) that is thinking that if you just watched your geocache being blown up on CTV that a small refresher course on "how to hide a cache" should be considered.

AND, I know that all of you, and I mean ALL of you who have checked out the new trade and convention center have gone... "oooohhhh, that would be a great place to hide a cache!!!!"

Hope all is well with everyone

Olipe
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