Friday 24 November 2017

New Olympics security shambles revealed in leaked report

Terri Judd

THE day before G4S chief executive Nick Buckles shocked British MPs by refusing to give up the security company's £57m management fee, almost 40pc of the guards required for the Olympic Park failed to turn up, leaked documents reveal.

The confidential report, marked "G4S Eyes Only", highlights the shambolic state of the company's Olympic operation, with huge staff shortages, lack of training and equipment failure.



One security operator said the situation had barely improved yesterday, with a third of his work force failing to materialise, while the chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation said officers were "shocked and alarmed" by the lack of G4S training.



The daily operations report reveals that on 16 July – the day before Mr Buckles appeared before the Home Affairs select committee last week – 2,305 of the required 6,574 personnel failed to report at the Olympic Park. During the day shift the shortfall was more than 38pc while it was 31pc at night.



Under the item heading "G4S lack specific training", it continues: "VSCC [Venue Security Command Centre] running with operators without specific ISS [Integrated Security Systems], ISM and Comms Ops training."



Under the heading "G4S Workforce Issues" the document lists a host of sites where a large proportion of the workforce failed to turn up, including the large ExCel venue, where only half of the required 89 staff appeared.



Yesterday one security contractor said a third of his staff were still not arriving for duty. Instead he was sent predominantly female university students, employed through G4S's "Bridging the Gap" recruitment campaign, whom he turned away. "They have minimal training. They are all girls under 20 and I did not feel comfortable leaving them to carry out duties at night," he explained.



His comments were echoed by Ian Edwards, the chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, who said officers were horrified by the incompetence of G4S staff. "The more they see, the more concerned we are. Not only has G4S failed to train and recruit enough security personnel, they have also failed to deliver even basic training."



The security giant acknowledged at the eleventh hour that it had failed to recruit the 10,000 staff required to protect the Olympics. Last week it was announced that 3,500 servicemen and women were to be drafted in from leave or other duties to help fill the gaps, along with a further 1,200 placed on stand-by, while police officers have been forced to fill the gaps at several venues across the country.



A G4S spokesman said he could not comment on the specific issues raised in the report.

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