Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for the Olympics, said a short while ago, “G4S numbers are rising and we are seeing an improvement in the company’s performance which is to be welcomed”, as the GMB Union told the public it was time to lay off G4S workers and let them get on with the job. Earlier today the Met Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan Howe distanced himself from the G4S/LOCOG saga by commenting that the internal security of the Games was the responsibility of Government. Earlier today the Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts Margaret Hodge said today that the Home Office, “needs to get a grip on LOCOG and G4S urgently.”
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for the Olympics, said:
“Ministers agreed today that there is no current need to deploy any additional troops. G4S numbers are rising and we are seeing an improvement in the company’s performance which is to be welcomed. Safety and security will always have the highest priority. As we have said we must prepare for every contingency.
“We are therefore putting an additional 1200 troops on standby reducing their notice to move from 7 days to 48 hours. They will remain in their current locations but can be called on if we need them during the coming weeks. We hope that will not be necessary but this is a sensible precaution. “There will be other challenges over the coming weeks but we are confident that we are on track to stage a great Games.” Hunt concluded.
The leading security industry union GMB said they were 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 morale. Reacting today to the continuing negative reports on running of the G4S Olympics 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. 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 morale. 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.”
The Met Police
At the London Assembly this morning, the Met Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan Howe told the assembly’s police and crime scrutiny committee today emphatically denied the police were the lead agency in the security of the Games commenting that it was the responsibility of the Government. He said “”It’s not up to the Metropolitan police to start querying a contract of someone else. Our issue is to police outside the Games.” Hogan Howe told the committee that the Met Police has provided about 60 officers to date.”
Police and Crime Committee – Video – Thurs 19 July 2012, 10am
Public Accounts Committee
The Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts Margaret Hodge issued a statement today that the Home Office “needs” to get a grip on LOCOG and G4S urgently;
“A big concern is that the Department has no intention of producing a single auditable account for the Games, drawing together both the costs within the Public Sector Funding Package of £9.3 billion and those outside. Such an analysis must be produced.” Said Hodge
Margaret Hodge was speaking as the Committee published its 9th Report of this Session which, on the basis of evidence from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, examined the preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.