Leaked documents show Home Office concerns over G4S months ago

Thumb_keir-simmons
Security company G4S looks likely to be unable to fulfil its personnel commitments. Photo: PA

ITV News has been shown evidence that Home Office officials were raising concerns about G4S recruitment of Olympic security staff many months ago.

It was when Olympic venues went into lockdown last week that it emerged G4S staff were not turning up as planned.

It’s understood that the company was reassuring the Home Office that it would deliver right up until yesterday, but the latest problems caused officials to conclude that they could no longer rely on those assurances.

A computer failure is said to have caused the problems at G4S.

But ITV News has seen an e-mail from the Home Office to G4S written months ago raising concerns that 49% of recruits were not completing security training.

And an internal document from April clearly shows officials were worried about a lack of progress.

“Overall attendance this week appears to be 60% of planned capacity”, it reports.

And even that, “its not clear G4S is really targeting the right people to be x-ray operators beyond basic competency tests.”

It warns, “we will very soon start to see big shortfalls against planned numbers.”

And it reveals that even in April officials were viewing “with trepidation the inevitable last minute nature of the mass throughput that will be the consequence.”

The leaked documents suggest that the issues that led the Home Office call for more military support have their roots in failures many months ago.

G4S says it was subject to close scrutiny by the Home Office and officials there were clearly raising increasing concerns.

The problem may be the plans put together by G4S and Olympic organisers LOCOG to train staff right up until the last minute, leaving little time to put things right if the problems that were clearly evident continued.