Friday, 13 July 2012

The Reason Why G4S Was Called Into The Home Office

Ben Fellows is an investigative journalist specialising in undercover work.  He went undercover to follow his 'Olympic dream', as G4S likes to call it, to become a member of the security team.

As well as talking to the UK Column, Mr Fellows has also managed to publicise his experiences on the Louise Collins Road Show, Tony Gosling's Bristol based radio show and Alex Jones.

Since he made his allegations G4S has been called into the Home Office and we now know the Army will be providing a further 3,500 troops to aid security.

The list of Mr Fellows' allegations is here.

I have no interest in the Olympics so will be content to be over 500 miles from London when the event takes place. However, for those who intend to visit London Mr Fellows' disclosures will unsettle them.  It's no wonder G4S are doing their best to have Mr Fellows silenced, particularly when 75% of Daily Mail readers say they have no confidence in the security measures.

Thankfully the Army are now involved and will do their utmost to ensure  everyone's safety, but who will be in charge?  Will the Army look after themselves or will G4S be dictating to them?

If Mr Fellows' allegations are correct - and I have no reason to doubt him - then  the Army should be given control of all security, even although it is very late in the day,

But is security OTT for the games?  I tend to agree with Iain Martin.


JRB said...

When all this is over and we look back upon the 2012 Olympics, Britain’s lasting legacy will be the unending shame of having brought about the untimely end to the modern Olympic movement, where once men and women strove to achieved all that the could achieve, through their sporting prowess.

Rather, these games will be remembered for the worst of all reasons.
- Where the organisers so besotted in what they were involved in that they threatened the full force of the law against frail grannies for knitting a teddy-bear wearing five rings.
- Where corporate greed dictated what can be eaten and what can be drunk. Someone recently quipped that this event should be renamed from the Olympics to McDonald’s Sports Day.
- Where political ineptitude allowed a contract to escalate from £10 million to £284 million and does not question it… and when it all goes horribly wrong finds there is in fact no penalty clause (despite Theresa May’s words)
- Where it takes 17,000 troops to ensure safety and security. More troops than it takes to fight a war.
(There is a dreadful irony in that amongst the additional troops urgently needed for security duties is the battalion of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who having just returned from active service were given their P45’s)

… and have we all noticed something – the “2012 Olympics” are being mentioned and discussed for every reason bar one – sport.
Sport has been completely forgotten, a mere side-show, left drowning under a sea of corporate greed, political brown-nosing, media hype and a totally exaggerated and unprecedented level of (questionable) security.

Oldrightie said...

Wot JRB said!

Apogee said...

Spot on!

Anonymous said...

JRB, as good a post and summary as we are likely to see.

A sporting event effectively hijacked by vain, spendthrift politicians, bully-boy corporations and used to maintain and ramp up fear in order to justify the uncalled for oppression of the free spirit.

Joe Public said...

If G4S can't meet their contractual obligations, they should compulsorily have to hire Squaddies at say £750 per individual per day. Plus accommodation + expenses.

Officers at say £1,000 per man day.

And whoever from Locog drew up & signed the contract should be sacked for gross incompetence if they hadn't included penalty clauses to cover the situation.

RMcGeddon said...

The whole 'undercover' story looks a bit doubtful to me but I'm just a committed cynic. 10,000 employees but only this 'undercover' guy knew what was really going on and passed on the info ?
The Forces should have been deployed from the start anyway and left to run the whole thing.
A Royal Marine Commando in combats at each entry point with his middle distance stare would have made the worst baddie surrender on site.

Brian said...

Apparently Locog awarded a security contract to G4S in December 2010 to provide 2,000 staff and, like Topsy, it growed and growed. Never a good idea to extend contracts like that because you don't get the full benefits of bulk purchase. As a result, G4S will be paid per-capita and no penalties for failure to provide staff. I'm surprised that the Locog Security and Resilience Department let that slip through. As for Phillip Hollobone's idea to bar G4S from tendering for government contracts until they've paid the costs of the troops will fall foul of competition law.

It's ironic that 3,500 is about the same as six batallions.

Joe Public said...

"A Royal Marine Commando in combats at each entry point with his middle distance stare would have made the worst baddie surrender on site (sic)." Sadly RMcG, if it doesn't work in Helmund, it's unlikelyto work in Hackney.

23/6/10 A Royal Marine was killed in Afghanistan today, the fourth commando to die in four days.

RMcGeddon said...

"Sadly RMcG, if it doesn't work in Helmund (sic), it's unlikelyto (sic) work in Hackney.

We know our troops are in an impossible situation in Helmand Joe.
Too few troops and poor back up.
Defending their own people at home with unlimited resources and the country supporting them would surely be a different proposition ?

banned said...

Re recruitment. What sort of person is going to commit him/herself to one months work, some months in advance?

1. Students who have just finished their year and which 1 months work might fund their travel plans for the rest of the vacation.

2. Work shirkers who could use it as proof of their efforts to find work but confidenr of their impending redundancy (victimhood).

3. ?

Thank goodness the Army is now properly involved which, according to radio interviews by well known retired officers, they always assumed they would be despite being told to push off by Loqock from the start.

subrosa said...

Well said JRB. If people want to support this type 'amateur' sport event then they should pay for it.

subrosa said...

Good additional comment tinks, especially 'the oppression of the free spirit'.

subrosa said...

Sacking isn't good enough Joe. It's criminal (but of course there's no law to cover it).

subrosa said...

There are a few around now RM - one in the DM today, but Ben Fellows has respect in the media, hence his report being highlighted.

I agree with you although it's shameful to use soldiers who have just been given their P45s.

subrosa said...

Seemingly Brian, the contract included paid and unpaid staff and it's the unpaid numbers G4S can't attain. I wonder why.

subrosa said...

I didn't realise the army had been rejected initially banned. Their late involvement is causing lots of upset for them now because family holiday etc are having to be cancelled or they go without a parent.

English Pensioner said...

One of the Olympic events is being held not too far from me. To the locals, the only benefit so far is that the council has resurfaced some of the roads in the area. Signs have been erected about "An Olympic Route" with no stopping and that it is a "Tow away area", and locals are advised to avoid the area on certain dates.
I have no faith in any security, and I'm keeping well away so that if there is an incident, I'm nowhere near it at the time.

subrosa said...

If I was in your location EP I would take the same action.

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