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last updated 18-Aug-2020
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Locog, the organizers of the 2012 Olympics in London, originally contracted G4S to provide 2,000 security guards out of the 10,000 personnel required. Eventually, the estimate went up to over 23,000 and G4S agreed to supply a 10,000 contingent. Two weeks before the start of the Olympics it became known that G4S would only be able to supply only a fraction of the required private guards - and many of the 'recruits' failed to turn up for work at venues across the UK. The British Army and local police forces filled in the gap and did an excellent job. Is this a one-off and noteworthy incident or the beginning of a new trend? The debate begins.
2011-2020: A - B
1999-2010: A - B
- More themes soon! - - - - >>NEWS AGENCIES
The official document regarding House of Commons Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the G$S affairs available at the UK REGULATION page


The aftermath

G4S profits tumble on Olympics failings. The company, which admitted its handling of the Olympics was a "humiliating shambles", said its overall annual profits slid from £257m in 2011 to £175m in 2012. By Rupert Neate, The Guardian, March 13, 2012: TEXT | PICTURE

• G4S Olympic security contract losses increase to £88m. About £70m will be lost on the London Olympics contract, with an additional £2.5m donated to a military charity, £7m in sponsorship and marketing, and £8.5m spent on lawyers and accountants. By Simon Neville, The Guardian, February 12, 2012: TEXT | PHOTO

West Midlands Police paid out extra £1.6million to cover G4S Olympic duties in the Midlands. Police officers were asked to give up rest days to cover more than 4,300 extra shifts across a 26-day period. By By Nick McCarthy, Birmingham Mail, 31 October 31, 2012: click here

After Olympic guards’ year of shame... .G4S threw awards bash to celebrate its “success.” By Nick Parker, The Sun, October 21, 2012 (includes pictures): click here

G4S Directors David Taylor-Smith And Ian Horseman Sewell Resign After Olympics Security Shambles. Chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith and Ian Horseman Sewell head of global events are to carry the can for the fiasco. By AP, Huffington Post, September 28, 2012: TEXT | PHOTOS

G4S CEO to stay in post after Olympic-pact woes. G4S said "it is in the best interests of the company and of all its stakeholders" that Mr Buckles should remain as CEO. MarketWatch, September. 28, 2012: click here

• G4S. Statement regarding Home Affairs Committee Report into Olympic security. Press Release, September 21, 2012: click here

• Home Affairs Committee. G4S must bear the cost of its Olympic failure, say MPs in new report. September 21, 2012: click here

Home Affairs Committee - Seventh Report - Olympics security, September 18, 2012 (html): click here

Home Affairs Committee - Inquiry into Olympics security, July-September 2012 (html): click here

U.K. Panel Slams G4S On Olympic Security. Lawmakers said the failure was solely the responsibility of the company and recommended it forgo its £57 million ($92.5 million) management fee. By Simon Zekaria, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2012: click here

G4S battles Olympic chiefs over unpaid fee. So far, G4S has been paid only 90 million pounds ($144 million) of the 235 million pounds Olympics contract. Reuters, The Chicago Tribune, September 12, 2012: click here

No pay for G4S since Olympic Games blunder. Locog chief executive Paul Deighton told Members of British Parliament G4S has not been paid since July 13. By Margaret Davis, The Independent, September 11, 2012: click here


29 August- 9 September London 2012 Paralympics

British Police press on with plans to give G4S essential role despite Olympic shambles. Up to 1,000 back-office jobs in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire counties could still be outsourced to giant security firm. By Richard Hall, August 24, 2012: click here

Sparks fly in debate on outsourcing. By Gill Plimmer and Helen Warrell, The Financial Times, August 14, 2012: click here

G4S Olympic failure prompts ministers to 'think again' over outsourcing. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt have questioned the use of private firms to deliver certain services in the aftermath of G4S security failures at the Olympics. BBC News, August 14, 2012: click here

G4S fiasco revealed limitations of private sector, admits Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. "... it's doing different things with different levels of resilience that are not generally required in the private sector." The Telegraph, August 14, 2012: click here

British Army warns Olympic Games recovery will take two years. Military faces big task to get back to normal, says planning chief, after deploying 18,000 troops to London 2012 duties. By Nick Hopkins, The Guardian, August 13, 2012: click here

G4S donates £2.5m to armed forces after Olympics. BBC News, August 13, 2012: click here


12 August - London 2012 Olympics end

Olympics-UK troops win over spectators at Olympic venues. Troop performance praised by officials and public. By Mohammed Abbas, Reuters, August 8, 2012: click here

British Army - Securing London Olympics 2012

We salute the British Army (and the future private military/security recruits) for a job well done!

Police make 250 Olympic Games arrests. The arrests have been made for a total of 29 different alleged offences ranging from assault, robbery and a bomb hoax to swimming in the Thames. BBC News, August 2, 2012: click here

British Police chiefs urge ministers to draw lessons from G4S Games debacle. Olympic Security Group concerned there was 'no one who could press the panic button.' By Jamie Doward, The Observer, August 12, 2012: click here

G4S 'using untrained staff to screen Olympic visitors.' Insider says untrained workers have been running x-ray machines to relieve specialists doing 12-hour shifts. By Nick Hopkins, The Guardian, August 6: click here

Viewpoint: G4S and the echoes of the East India Company. The recent discussions around the G4S Olympic security scandal highlighted two jaw-dropping facts related to public military spending and the size of G4S's force, writes historian Michael Wood. BBC News, August 2, 2012: click here


27 July - London 2012 Olympics begin

G4S Olympic guard investigated after 'spitting at soldier and calling him baby killer.' An Olympic security guard is facing the sack after spitting at a British soldier and calling him a “baby killer”, it has been claimed. The Telegraph, July 30, 2012: click here

Security company G4S fell short at Olympics and US bases in South Korea. By Ashley Rowland, Stars and Stripes, July 28, 2012: click here

Glasgow and Manchester police take on extra Olympic security roles. Police in Glasgow and Manchester are to take on extra security roles at Olympic football venues because of gaps left by private contractor G4S. BBC News, July 20, 2012: click here

Dorney Lake security 'a shambles.' A manager working for G4S at the Olympic rowing and canoeing venue has told the BBC that security at the site is "a shambles". BBC News, July 20, 2012: click here

Home Office warned over G4S staffing - HO was told of a "possible temporary shortfall" in G4S security guards for the Olympics on 27 June, the home secretary has said. BBC News, July 19, 2012: click here

1,200 more troops put on standby for Games. By James Kirkup, The Telegraph, July 18, 2012: click here

How it went: Nick Buckles has given evidence before MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee about G4S's failure to provide sufficient security guards for the Olympic Games. By Rosa Prince, The Telegraph, July 17, 2012: click here

G4S relies on army of temporary managers. A team of low-cost temporary managers oversee its crisis-hit Olympics security staffing operation, it can be disclosed. By Emma Rowley and Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph, July 15, 2012: click here

G4S chief executive Nick Buckles tells the Sunday Telegraph how he found out about the Games fiasco, why he won't be taking a bonus and how delays tripped the firm up. By Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph, July 14, 2012: click here

Local contractors take G4S Newcastle roles. By Helen Warrell, The Financial Times, July 13, 2012: click here

The anatomy of a 'shambles.' G4S employees tell Channel 4 News of a shambolic recruitment process that has left staff seething. Channel 4 News, July 12, 2012: click here

UK Ministry of Defence fury as soldiers forced to carry out menial security tasks for Olympic Games. Thousands more Armed Forces personnel will be forced to carry out “menial” security work for the Olympic Games, leaving defence chiefs furious. By Con Coughlin, James Kirkup, Thomas Harding and Paul Kelso, The telegraph, July 11, 2012: click here

British military drafted in after G4S Olympic staffing failure. As 3,500 more troops are drafted in to police the Olympics, a G4S duty manager tells Channel 4 News that some staff contracted to provide security have not been trained or deployed. Channel 4 News, July 11, 2012: click here


UK gives 13,500 troops to Olympics [and G4S up to 18,000 security guards]. By Vanessa Kortekaas, Helen Warrell and James Blitz, The Financial Times, December 15, 2011.: click here



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