News24

Extra 3 500 troops deployed for Olympics

2012-07-12 16:01

London - Britain will deploy an extra 3 500 troops at the London Olympics after a private security firm said it could not provide sufficient guards, the defence minister confirmed on Thursday.

Philip Hammond said the interior ministry requested the move after private contractor G4S could not fulfil its commitment to provide the necessary number of trained staff for the Games, which officially open on 27 July.

The deployment, which means 17 000 troops will now be involved in the Olympics, would impose an extra burden on the armed forces over the British summer holiday season, but was "prudent" to ensure security, Hammond said.

"As the venue security exercise has got under way, concerns have arisen about the ability of G4S to deliver the required number of guards for all the venues within the timescales available," he said in a statement to lawmakers.

"G4S has now agreed that it would be prudent to deploy additional military support to provide greater reassurance.

"The home secretary has therefore requested additional Ministry of Defence support, and I have authorised the deployment of a further 3 500 military personnel."

The extra deployment represents more than a third of the current total British military force that is fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

But Hammond said it would have "no adverse impact on other operations."

The extra soldiers will work alongside police, private security guards and unpaid volunteers for a total security force of around 40 00 people at the London Olympics.
The government's security budget for the Games stands at £553m.

Hammond said all soldiers involved would receive their full leave entitlement and compensation if they had had to change any arrangements.

Comments
  • hallo.daar.56 - 2012-07-12 16:17

    These Olympics will be the final nail in the coffin for the UK economy like they were for Greece.

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-07-12 16:40

    The Queen is scared.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-07-12 18:49

      and Pray tell us, why you are scared?

  • rick.coetzee.7 - 2012-07-12 20:13

    Interesting to note that Britain is deploying 3500 TROOPS to deliver the required number of guards to assist guarding all the venues at their Olympic games but here in Cape Town Helen Zilla's call for military assistance in Gangland HanoverPark and surrounds is turned down (by the main peanuts in the packet) on the basis that the army is only trained to kill and NOT trained to safeguard suburban areas. I know the military is a short term solution but they can assist and help while the Police and Metro Police regain control of the areas by means of entry/exit control points, body searches for weapons/drugs etc. etc.

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