Olympic security firm calls for back-up as thousands of troops are put on standby

Private contractor G4S warns it may not be able to train 10,000 staff it needs in time

The military has been told it may need to provide an additional 3,500 troops to provide security during the Olympics amid fears the world's largest private security firm may not be able to provide enough trained staff in time.

Thousands of Army troops have been told to prepare for duties at Games sites and given "notice to move" orders – bringing the military presence at the Games to 17,000 to meet any shortfall from G4S, the company charged with providing security for the Games. G4S is contracted to provide 10,000 guards for the London games and is being paid £284m to do so.

But yesterday it admitted that it had experienced "some issues in relation to workforce supply" and was considering whether it could bring in staff from other parts of its business.

The Government has now put an additional 3,500 troops on standby to provide security at the Games. The presence of Games guards dressed in military uniforms is unlikely to go unnoticed by Olympic visitors; the potential for an overbearing security presence has been a talking point in recent weeks. Air-based missile defence systems will sit on civilian roofs and some of the navy's largest battleships are in position in east London and at the sailing venue in Weymouth, Dorset.

G4S said it was planning with the Olympics organising committee Locog and other security agencies to allow for "a variety of contingencies which have been reviewed in the build-up to the Games".

A spokeswoman said the company had accepted "the Government has decided to overlay additional resources." She said the Olympic contract had involved unprecedented and very complex security recruitment, carried out to a "tight timescale".

The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, will announce more details about the extra troops today. But Labour's Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said: "Only on Monday the Home Secretary said she was confident that their partners would deliver a safe and secure games.

"With only 15 days to go until the Olympics we now find out that she has apparently called on the military to cover a shortfall of over 3,500 security guards.

"I am deeply concerned that G4S are now unable to deliver their £284 million contract and that the Home Office have left contingency plans to the last moment."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have agreed to offer help to G4S by revising the level of military support. The focus of the Government and everyone involved is on delivering a safe and secure Games.

"G4S are Locog's lead contractor for venue security and are being supported by the military. Our approach is intelligence-led and risk-based."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot