Army Called in to Aid Olympic Security
After G4S, the firm contracted with handling Olympic security said they were unable to fulfil their contract, army chiefs have now headed to G4S’s headquarters in order to take a more active role in Olympic security.
Last week it emerged that G4S would not be able to provide the amount of guards required for the Olympics which has led to the drafting in of more members of the armed forces and police officers in order to fill the gaps. At present the military has deployed 17,000 soldiers to the Olympics and may be asked to supply a further 2,000.
Army officers have been dispatched to the G4S headquarters as the result of a growing feeling that it is necessary to set up a combined headquarters with the military taking a more active role in the planning and command of the Games. Officials from the Ministry of Defense believe that with such a large number of soldiers involved it is necessary for there to be closer integration.
One senior Whitehall official said, “It’s become obvious G4S not only needs help with the numbers but also administration. That’s the reason a small number of extra military personnel have been sent in. This may have to be increased and there’s a case for further integration when it comes to command and control.”
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has admitted that the government does not know the exact number of staff G4S will be providing. However, she insists that the Home Office did not know about these problems until last Wednesday.
While there is now expected to be a heavy military presence around the Olympics, a MOD spokesman said that the security remains a “civilian and police led operation which has not changed…the level of liaison has increased as the Games has drawn closer and the military contribution has increased.”