London: Just eight days before the opening ceremony, London Olympics organisers are faced with a massive security concern.
David Winnick, Labour MP: “Mr Buckles, it’s a humiliating shambles, isn’t it?”
Nick Buckles, CEO G4S: “It’s not where we`d want to be, that is certain.”
David Winnick: “It’s a humiliating shambles for the company, yes or no?”
Nick Buckles: “I cannot disagree with you.”
The CEO of security firm G4S Nick Buckles being grilled British MPs after it became clear that they would be able to provide just over half of the 10,000 security personnel promised to be delivered by them. Scrambling to fill the security gap, additional 3,500 soldiers have been drafted in.
David Cameron, British Prime Minister, said, “When it comes to the Olympics we have to be ready for any contingency. We have to make sure there are safe and secure Olympics. If there are further steps we have to take, of course we will take them. But the responsibility should be for Group 4 Security, G4S, to make sure that their people are there and providing that security that the army are playing a vital role.”
British Government’s decision to outsource Olympic security has also been questioned with some Olympic venues facing massive security shortage after some private security staff failed to turn up. Hugh Robertson, UK Sports and Olympics Minister, said, “We are not going to spend a penny more of taxpayers money on the security of the games, and secondly we are absolutely in the process at the moment of activating the necessary penalty clauses in the contract, and they will obviously be enforced to make sure the taxpayer is not exposed for the failing of G4S.”
Meanwhile, London’s overburdened transport system too is a cause of headache for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). While the taxi drivers protested outside British Parliament, some US and Australian athletes took almost four hours after their team bus lost its way from the airport to the village. With just over a week left, the London Games Organising Committee still needs to address vital security and transport concerns before the Games begin on July 27th.
BDST: 1443 HRS, July 19, 2012
Chanchal Ghosh, Newsroom Editor
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