The Olympics went off largely without any real negative issues to highlight. London 2012 will rightly be remembered on the face of it as one of, if not the greatest Olympic events ever in the history of this famous sporting dynasty.
However, if you look deeper into some of the very real failures of the games you will see that security is one of the areas that really could have spelt disaster for the whole event and anybody involved with the Olympics. We reported on 3rd June 2012 that G4S, the world’s largest private security firm, had not managed to employ enough trained security staff for the event which could seriously have undermined the events taking place as security is the maximum priority in modern times.
Luckily the armed forces stepped in to help and many national newspapers and news channels reported that G4S are going to donate £2.5 million to the armed forces as way of a thank you and goodwill gesture for rescuing them after they were awarded a mammoth £284 million contract to provide over 10,000 security staff for the games.
All is well that ends well then?
Surely not; serious questions need to be raised about awarding such contracts to the private sector after this mishap that could seriously have affected the schedule of the London Olympics and perhaps seen it cancelled altogether!
Had it not been for the combined effort of the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy supporting G4S this could indeed have been the very real scenario Olympic organisers would have been facing. Many military staff had to cancel their annual leave due to the G4S security shambles and it is without doubt that their contribution should be recognised by more than just a cash gesture by way of thanks.
The Defence Secretary himself, Philip Hammond has today openly admitted that G4S’ failure to provide the agreed level of security staff has raised questions about the ability of the private sector to hold full responsibility for organising security for such events.
Lessons do need to be learnt quickly and nobody is saying that G4S did not do an excellent job once the issue had been resolved by drafting in the military, however had that option not been available then the events over the past few weeks may well have been overshadowed by a major security breach or worse.
Private security services are a big part of Insight’s day to day offerings, if you have any concerns or requirements for this type of service please do not hesitate to talk to one of our security consultants today.