The English based security company G4S (Group 4 Securicor) has a £284m contract to provide 13,700 guards for the London 2012 Olympics, but only has 4,000 in place. It says a further 9,000 are in the pipeline.
In the pipeline?
There are only 14 days left until the games begin, all of these people should be a long way out of the pipeline. They should be fully trained and they should have intimate knowledge of the venue they are to be guarding. They should be familiar the equipment that they are to be using, and what to do if it does not work properly. They should know and be able to recognise the people that they are to be working with in their unit and what their shift pattern is to be over the period of the games.
Very few, if any, of these are in place in large numbers.
G4S sent an urgent request last week to retired police officers asking them to help. A memo to the National Association of Retired Police Officers said:
“G4S Policing Solutions are currently and urgently recruiting for extra support for the Olympics. These are immediate starts with this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday available. We require ex-police officers ideally with some level of security clearance and with a Security Industry Association [accreditation], however neither is compulsory.”
The following are comments from trainees;
“One student applicant said he had already spent £650 on travel and hotel bills to attend training and was now worried that, because he had not received any accreditation or rota from G4S, he might not be given the shifts that would enable him to cover those costs. He said he had expected to earn about £2,000 over the period of the Games.”
“Rickie Hill reported that he had been sent someone else’s schedule.”
Full Guardian article here;
G4S, with over 657,000 employees, it is the world’s third-largest private sector employer, one would have thought they would have put a little effort into getting this contract right!.