Olympics: 2 000 more troops on standby

2012-07-18 17:00
British military personnel walk near the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park in London. (Jae C Hong, AP)

British military personnel walk near the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park in London. (Jae C Hong, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Britain has drawn up contingency plans to deploy another 2 000 troops for the London Olympics after a private security firm said it could not provide enough guards, a minister said on Wednesday.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson said that the government would ensure security giant G4S would foot the bill for any further use of service personnel to guard the Games, which start on July 27.

The government announced last week that it was deploying another 3 500 troops after G4S said it could not fulfil its contract to supply 10 500 private security guards for Olympic venues.

"Contingency plans are being drawn up for 2 000 more soldiers," Robertson told a press conference in central London.

"We are clear we are not going to spend a penny more of taxpayers' money on security. We are working now to activate the penalty clauses" in the contract with G4S.

"Not a penny of the remaining contingency fund will be used to make up for the mistakes of the last few days or to plug the gap left by G4S's mistakes," he added, referring to the government's 476-million ($744-million, 606-million-euro) contingency fund in the overall 9.3 billion Olympics budget.

Robertson refused however to call for the resignation of G4S's embattled boss Nick Buckles, saying that "what is crucial now is that he and his organisation deliver a safe Olympics".

No guarantee

"What happens to Mr Buckles is a matter for others in a post-Games environment," the minister added.

The announcement that a further 2 000 troops have been placed on standby comes a day after Buckles said during a grilling by lawmakers that he could not now guarantee the number of guards that G4S could provide.

Buckles said on Tuesday that G4S currently had 4 200 people working and that the "minimum we can deliver" by the start of the Games was 7 000.

But when asked whether he could guarantee they would all turn up he said "I can't, no".

Britain currently has 17 000 military personnel lined up for security at the Games - almost double the number of troops that it has in Afghanistan.

Reports said a decision would be taken on Thursday on whether to put 2 000 service personnel "on notice to move", meaning they would act as a reserve force throughout the Olympics and would not be available for other tasks.

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  uk  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

“To infinity and beyond”….. As the Sun and the Moon move into Sagittarius you are able to let go of the emotional intensity of the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.