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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Reports: Police forces reconsider G4S contracts

The BBC's East of England Home Affairs Correspondent reports that some police forces are rethinking plans to outsource services to G4S after the company failed to provide enough staff for the London Olympics.

Forces in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire are thought to be reconsidering contracts. Police are outsourcing services as a way of cutting costs.

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Cooper: Home Secretary needs to explain G4S problems

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "The Home Secretary was asked repeatedly when she and the Home Office were warned about problems at G4S, and she repeatedly gave everyone the impression they had only known since 11 July.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper has said the Home Office were too slow to respond over the security problems. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"Why has Theresa May waited until now to admit the Home Office in fact were warned two weeks earlier?

"She needs to explain urgently how she justifies having given Parliament and the public such a selective account, and why the Home Office were so slow to respond."

Home Office: ministers 'were aware of G4S challenges in delivering obligations'

A Home Office spokesman said: "Mr Buckles' evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee this week confirmed what the Home Secretary told the House of Commons: G4S did not tell ministers that they would be unable to deliver their contractual obligations until July 11.

"Before that date, Home Office ministers and officials were aware of some challenges for G4S in delivering those obligations, particularly the rostering of staff.

G4S boss Mr Buckles gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee this week. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"However, until July 11, G4S continued to tell the Home Secretary, ministers and officials that they would still deliver their Games time obligations.

"When, on July 11, G4S said for the first time that they would not deliver, ministers acted immediately to resolve the problem."

Let G4S workers get on with the job, warns GMB Union

GMB Union has said it is worried by reports that frontline GMB members working for G4S are being subjected to and affected by comments and taunts.

GMB reacted today to the continuing reports on the G4S Olympic Games security contract.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said: "The constant attacks on G4S management are having a demoralising impact on the thousands of G4S workers who are striving to deliver security on the ground, both for the Olympic games and on other contracts around the country."

G4S security guards on duty at Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He continued: "It is also apparent that some workers contracted for the Olympic Games are being turned-off by the adverse publicity.

"GMB is worried by reports from several areas that frontline GMB members working for G4S who were looking forward to being part of the Games and wanted to deliver the security contract are being subjected and affected by comments and taunts and this is damaging their moral.

"There are thousands and thousands of people doing their best and they should have our support. There will be a post-mortem after the Olympics but right now, for the sake of the G4S workers on duty at the Games and elsewhere we need to emphasise the positives and get on with the job.”

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G4S security shortfall 'activated' Home Office contingency plans

The Home Secretary continued in the letter:

But at this stage, of course, G4S were still confident that they would deliver the required numbers.

However, as we now know, this is no longer the case.

On July 11 G4S told the Olympic Security Board for the first time that they were no longer confident of reaching their workforce targets.

The contingency plans were activated and 3,500 servicemen and women were brought in to boost the number of military personnel involved in Games security to 17,000.

Home Secretary: Locog and G4S were 'pressed to clarify shortfall'

Mrs May went on: "Locog and G4S were pressed to clarify the shortfall and factors which had created it urgently.

"The meeting considered a possible short-term and temporary call on the military contingency force (MCF) which had been created for Olympics purposes."

Mrs May admitted that Locog and G4s were pressed to clarify the security shortfall 'urgently'. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Home Secretary admitted that permission to put "a small part of the MCF" on 24 hours notice was sought as early as June 28, with the force being mobilised "several days later".

This was increased to 725 troops by July 9, she added.

Plans to put even more troops on standby were under way on July 6.

G4S warned of Olympic Games security shortfall on June 27

Theresa May said G4S and Locog met at the Home Office on June 27 and said they were "experiencing scheduling problems" which could see a shortfall of "significantly less than 1,000" guards.

But the firm was "unable to specify the size of the shortfall" and only said they were no longer confident of reaching their workforce targets on July 11.

The details came in a letter from Mrs May to Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, and as another 1,200 troops were put on standby to provide Olympics security tonight as the fallout from the G4S chaos continued.

A G4S employed security guard checks an athlete's accreditation at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, Weymouth. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mrs May wrote: "On June 27 G4S and Locog attended an Olympics Security Board meeting at the Home Office and said they were experiencing scheduling problems.

"They warned of a possible temporary shortfall in G4S deployed number from July 1.

"G4S were unable to specify the size of the shortfall and could say only that it would be 'significantly less than 1,000'.

"G4S stated that the shortfall was mainly due to the failure to take account of the fact that large parts of their workforce would be unable to begin work before July 27."

Vaz surprised G4S security 'alarm bells' didn't ring sooner

Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman Keith Vaz MP has said that he was surprised "alarm bells" didn't ring sooner over G4S security for the Olympic Games.

“I am most surprised that G4S have found themselves in this position considering that four separate reports into Olympics security were conducted in the last 12 months.

"We must know the figures that these monthly internal assurance reports revealed and why they did not ring alarm bells sooner.

Keith Vaz questioned G4S boss Nick Buckles earlier this week. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"The Home Secretary told the House that she only became aware of a shortfall on the 11th July. However this letter clearly states they were warned of a possible shortfall in guards on the 27th June at the Olympic Security Board, two weeks before.

"We now know there must have been serious concerns as some 725 military personnel were deployed and contingencies started to be made before the 11th July.”

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