Living in an Olympic City – part 5 – Security

The past few days have been a little more troubled than most expected. With less than two weeks (called a Fortnight in the UK) to go to the Opening Ceremony, the newspapers and House of Commons has been awash with complaints about the arrangements for the Security of the Games.

It appears that the Government had always proposed a layered approach (ones hopes not one learned from the TSA) which use private civilian staff as well as a large number of the military. These are being backed up with Ground-to-Air missles and fighter jets, just in case. The private contract is being paid £284m for the services of thousands of guards for the security operation. It appears that G4S has been unable to recruit, security clear and employ enough people. We’ve done this nation always does – we’ve called in the army.

About 3,500 troops (and we hear this morning an additional number of policemen) are being deployed to the venues. G4S will be charged for their services, somewhere between £35m and £50m. No one knows the profit margin and so whether this will have a real impact on G4S.

It does seem to be a bit of worry that the organisers has allowed G4S to employ a large number of young people who might run a mile were a real terrorist to turn up at their entrance. A Daily Mail reporter signed up and attended a course.

Horror stories from applicants have abounded all week – including one who appears to have been told she didn’t have a job but was able to collect a uniform, security pass and other materials whilst not having a job. The contractors said that in fact, she had two files and that one was OK!

The Independent reports this story here

Olympic Stadium