Scottish police take G4S roles

A Scottish police force is taking over responsibility for Olympic security from G4S amid continuing concern over staff shortages.

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Jeremy Hunt: 'Don't demonise G4S'

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to criticise G4S guards, turning his fire on the company's executives who failed to honour their contract to supply thousands of security staff to protect the Games.

We were very angry with G4S management but not with the G4S workers.

I just think it's really important we don't demonise them, because they are part of the mix.

Scottish police to replace G4S in Glasgow

A Scottish police force is taking over responsibility for Olympic security from G4S amid the continuing debacle over staff shortages.

The chief constable of Strathclyde Police said today he will take primary responsibility for security within Glasgow venues, including Hampden Park Stadium.

Olympic staff position Olympic Signage billboards at Hampden Park, Glasgow Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Labour MP for Glasgow East Margaret Curran said:

"Given G4S's significant failures, this is a sensible decision. The priority must be the safety of athletes and audiences, but it is critical that this does not impact on Strathclyde Police's ability to deal with other emergencies and ongoing operations.

"The costs should be recouped from the Home Office or, preferably, G4S itself. It's essential that no more contracts are awarded to G4S until a full review of this fiasco is carried out."

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British troops on standby will get 'best possible accommodation'

A military commander says troops on standby to provide Olympic security will get the best possible accommodation. General Sir Nick Parker wants soldiers to feel valued so they can do their job properly. There were reports of some personnel using showers in local leisure facilities.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond speaks to troops during a visit to the temporary Army barracks in east London Credit: PA Wire

Today, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was given a tour of the facilities in east London. He said:

"This is a sound, solid building and the military enablers who have been here since the beginning of the week have done a fantastic job of installing wi-fi and communications.

They are now building the leisure facilities that the troops will have access to. They have field kitchens in here, there is a 24-hour catering operation running and the guys who are here will be comfortable.

It's basic accommodation but it's the kind of accommodation they will be well used to because of their tours of duty in Afghanistan."

Met Police chief: Securing Olympics with soldiers 'no bad thing'

Britain's most senior police officer says using soldiers to help keep the Olympics safe is "no bad thing". Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "It's not a bad solution to have about 11,000 fully trained soldiers under a military command from one of the best armies in the world.

It seems to me that the contingencies will be put in place and we'll all be kept safe... You always have to review these things if the situation changes. But with the guards, G4S are providing guards, the military, the police - taken together, it will be a well-run operation."

Group of soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland march in front of the Olympic stadium Credit: Press Association

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Issues with G4S initially looked like 'teething problems'

The Home Secretary said the issues with G4S supplying enough guards initially looked like "teething problems".

Theresa May said: "They were consistently telling us, up until July 11, that they could produce the number of people required for the Olympic Games [they believed they identified] a temporary problem which was capable of resolution.

"We are constantly monitoring, constantly looking at how they are ensuring that safety and security for the Games so the people who come to these Olympic Games enjoy them."

A G4S employed security guard checks an athlete's accreditation Credit: Press Association

Home Secretary: G4S 'gave Olympic staff pledge last month'

The Home Secretary says G4S gave assurances it would be able to overcome problems supplying Olympic security staff last month. During a tour of the Olympic Park's security centre Theresa May said:

In early July it was clear that there were some initial problems which G4S said they would resolve. And crucially it was not until July 11 that G4S finally said, 'Actually we can't resolve those initial problems, we won't be able to provide the personnel'... I haven't been at all selective [with the information]. What I've been is absolutely clear with the House of Commons and others about how these things developed.

Police forces drop G4S from outsourcing contract

G4S will be knocked back from outsourcing contracts for Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Police forces next week. The preference now is to merge IT, HR, payroll and legal departments and take smaller savings. G4S is now seen as an unacceptable risk.

G4S Security guards outside the USA training base at Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham Credit: Press Association

Olympics 'more secure' with the military taking a greater role

The Olympics could be better off with the military playing a greater role, according to a senior Home Office official. Charles Farr, Head of Security and Counter-terrorism, played down concern about G4S and claimed it could ultimately make the Games more secure.

We've had a last-minute hitch but we've resolved the hitch and one could argue that we've come out of it stronger than we were when we went into it. We've got a really effective armed forces, military component to our venue security operation. G4S have faced a significant problem effectively scheduling, rostering, very large numbers of people to deploy to different venues at different times with different skills.

They have realised that not all of their workforce wanted to work at particular times, not all of them could work at particular times and not all of them had the right qualifications yet available. We first got an inkling that there was a problem with the scheduling system at the end of June. We were told that there was a possible shortfall, a temporary shortfall, and G4S were unable to put precise numbers on it. I asked them to do so and they couldn't.

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