Concern Mounts Over Possible Shortage of Security Guards
The private security company being paid nearly £300M ($464M) to guard the London 2012 Olympics has "yet to fully train or accredit thousands of security guards needed to protect the games from terrorist attack," according to Robert Booth of the London GUARDIAN. With three weeks left until the opening ceremony, ministers "are anxious" that only half the guards needed to guarantee fully staffed patrols of the entrances to venues and carry out other security duties are ready to start work. Organizers believe private security firm G4S needs a minimum of 19,000 security guards to fulfill its £284M ($440M) contract, which requires 10,400 licenced guards and 3,300 students. The extra guards are needed "as a buffer when staff fail to turn up or fail security screening." A G4S spokesperson confirmed it has 12,000 security guards available and is training a further 20,000 and "will be doing so" just days before the July 27 start of the Games (GUARDIAN, 7/8).