The Government is to draft in up to an extra 3,500 soldiers to be on stand-by alert and provide security for the London Olympic Games, which are due to commence on July 27th.
The military are to provide more troops than the 13,500 already agreed, amid fears contractor G4S may not have enough trained staff in time for the monumental event.
The Ministry of Defence has been seeking guarantees that any extra soldiers drafted in at the last minute will be fully compensated for cancelled leave.
The issue of venue security for the Games has been the most prominent factor for the organisers and the Government in the build up to the event. It comes after LOCOG admitted in December that is had underestimated the number of staff required to deliver security across 34 Olympic venues in London and around the country.
The budget has wildly increased from £282m to £553m and the figure required has more than doubled from 10,000 to 23,700.
G4S said it had “encountered some delays” in processing staff through the final phases of training.
Dame Tessa Jowell, the shadow Olympics Minister and member of the Olympics board said there was “clearly a serious problem.” She also stated that if G4S failed to deliver on their contractual obligations, they would be paid less.
G4S is being paid £300m to supply 10,000 guards for the upcoming Games, but it is now clear that they cannot guarantee to deliver that number.
In a statement, G4S said its Games deployment was “unprecedented and very complex” and being “carried out to a very tight schedule.”
The 3,500 extra soldiers may not all be required but the Government is keen to have them in place just in case G4S is unable to deliver.
The Government is believed to have agreed to a “just in time” approach to avoid costs spiralling further. It will be interesting to see how the security will be executed in the run up to the Games, and ultimately during the biggest event the world has ever seen. Keep a watchful eye on this space…