2012 Olympics: G4S Lets the Side Down on Security

So G4S, the company that helps the prisons in England to move their prisoners, who were contracted to provide the security for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, have seriously fallen short in the area of numbers.

To be fair the target numbers for ‘policing’ the games has gone up repeatedly since the initial estimate from officials of 2000 people. Due to repeated ‘re-estimates’, the number required is now 10,000. G4S has agreed each time to the increases and now at the eleventh hour have fallen very short.

With the Olympics due to start on the 27th of this month, organizers are starting to panic. The army, who are already pretty much over tasked, have been further tasked to provide around 4000 troops  to bolster security. Leaves are being cancelled as they attempt to fill G4S’s shortfall.

But how did we get into this mess? Were the organizers and the government too busy rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the money that the games will undoubtedly bring pouring in? Why were their estimates at the beginning of negotiations with G4S so low compared to what they now want?

Surely somebody in the government or the games organizers would have had a better idea of what was required in the way of security. The news stations are focusing on G4S and implying it is their fault. I think that the fault lies with all three of the players.

The government for not taking the security seriously from the out set. I think that they obviously left the decision up to the organizers.

The organizers for believing it was acceptable to keep changing the goal posts that they originally agreed upon and expecting G4S to “step up smartly” each time they changed the numbers.

G4S for failing to tell the number changers that it was not able to meet the higher requirements, instead of pointing out what they had originally agreed on.

I believe that G4s is just as guilty as the government and the organizers of rubbing their hands together in anticipation of a ‘great little earner.’ In a similar fashion of “not seeing the forest for the trees” I think all the main players in this little fiasco couldn’t see the logistics for the money.

Why couldn’t they have contacted out to more companies to provide security when the initial numbers turned out to be too low. That way they could have shared the wealth and met their ever increasing requirements.

Nobody really believes that the pressure to hold the Olympics was down to “national pride” or any such sentimentality. It has always been about the money and the revenue that will be generated by visiting athletes and their supporters from other countries.

I’m sure that everyone connected with this security gaffe knew all along that G4S could not provide the numbers that finally were decided on. I think they always intended to seconder the military to help out.

Since it is all about the money, why cut your possible net profit down by having to pay for more security when you can get the military to do it for no extra cost.

I won’t used the clichéd phrase of  “something being rotten” but I will say the whole debacle stinks to high heaven.

London 2012 banner at The Monument.
London 2012 banner at The Monument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About Michael Knox-Smith

Word traveler, writer, actor, vlogger, blogger, journalist. Entertainment background. Cinephile who reviews films, television, YouTube shows, Books and interviews professionals in the industry. Old journos never retire, they start their own site. Member Nevada Film Critics Society