London's Olympic Organizing Committee and the Conservative government is facing public scrutiny after the U.S.-based private security firm it hired to patrol the Summer Olympics that begins in two weeks failed to acquire and train enough personnel.
On Thursday, Labour MP Keith Vaz demanded that the Home Secretary explain why the government has been forced to request up to 3,400 military personnel to patrol the sporting event that many worry could be a target of a terrorist attack.
The firm, G4S, has said the timetable and complexity of the operation it was hired to perform has resulted in some issues in relation to workforce supply and scheduling. The firm was hired to provide 13,700 guards for Olympics venues throughout London.
This has been an accident waiting to happen, a government official told The Guardian anonymously. The Home Office has waited to make a decision on this because G4S has been saying it is all in hand. But we've run out of time.
Home Secretary Theresa May has reportedly been pressuring the security firm to step up its efforts, but as the July 27 opening ceremony approaches, the pressure is shifting on the government and the military to fill in any perceived security gaps due to insufficient private security personnel.
The Jupiter, Fla.-based global private security contractor faces the prospect of financial loss related to failing to come up with enough personnel. James Brokenshire, the minister responsible for security, told The Guardian that the contractor would lose the money it was going to use to pay guards it would not be able to provide.
Already the British armed forces has committed 13,500 personnel, more than the number of British troops committed in Afghanistan, but that number could rise to 16,500 now that G4S has been unable to acquire the number of guards it was hired to provide.
Many of the additional troops will have recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan. Col. Richard Kemp told BBC4 that the government has been lackadaisical in planning for security for an event that has been in the works since 2005.