UK Requests Another 3,500 Military Personnel to Guard Olympics
Britain’s military has been asked to provide an additional 3,500 personnel for the Olympic Games as private security contractor G4S conceded that it might not be able to supply the number of guards it had originally agreed, according to an article from NBC News.
With only 16 days to go before the opening ceremony, a G4S company statement said: “We have encountered some issues in relation to workforce supply and scheduling over the last couple of weeks, but are resolving these every day and remain committed to providing a security workforce for the start of the London 2012 Games.
“Our planning with Locog and other security agencies allows for a variety of contingencies which have been reviewed in the build-up to the Games. We accept that the Government has decided to overlay additional resources.”
G4S’s guards, made up of certified security workers and students, are being trained to operate x-ray machines, search vehicles and stand guard at Olympic venues across the country, the article says. Due to the scale of the operation, training will continue right up until a few days before the opening ceremony.
The contract for the guarding service is reportedly worth almost $460 million, the article says.
However, this news follows last month’s reports of serious concerns within the Home Office that G4S would be unable to meet its obligations for the Olympics, setting Olympic organizers up for a major embarrassment after insisting that plans are in place to ensure the Games are kept safe, NBC reports.
The military had previously been asked to provide a total of about 13,000 personnel, including up to 7,500 for civilian security at Games venues. The remainder, the article reports, will be involved in military operations linked to Olympic security.
Sources told NBC News that some of the extra 3,500 officers will come from a contingency of 1,000 soldiers on standby for Olympic emergencies.