By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

G4S-Event-Security 11_JulyJuly 11 - Britain has been forced to put an extra 3,500 military personnel on standby for London 2012 after G4S, the official Security Services Provider for the Games, confessed it may not be able to provide enough security guards.

G4S was appointed at the beginning of last year to provide the bulk of the 13,200 private guards to be stationed across for all Games venues – but with less than a month to go to the Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 27, the firm has thrown London 2012's security plans into crisis after admitting it has had problems recruiting enough people.

"This has been an unprecedented and very complex security recruitment, training and deployment exercise which has been carried out to a tight timescale," said a G4S spokeswoman.

"We have encountered some issues in relation to workforce supply and scheduling over the last couple of weeks.

"But we are resolving these every day and remain committed to providing a security workforce for the start of the London 2012 Games."

She conceded: "We accept that the Government has decided to overlay additional resources."

British Army_11_July
The Home Office is said to be angry that G4S has "failed to meet the recruitment and training targets" but has confirmed it is ready to step in to help resolve the situation.

"We have agreed to offer help to G4S by revising the level of military support," said a Home Office statement.

"Our approach is intelligence-led and risk-based, and we retain the ability to be flexible in our response.

"The Government is committing £553 million ($857 million/€700 million) for venue security and we remain confident that we will deliver within budget."

The armed forces were already due to provide some 13,500 personnel to help at the Games, and may now add up to 3,500 more, but the Home Office was keen to stress that security at the Games will not be affected.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will announce more details about the extra troops in Parliament tomorrow but the revelations are an embarrassment to G4S with London 2012 now just days away.

The organisation has also come under further attack from Labour's Shadow Olympics Minister, Tessa Jowell.

Olympic Stadium_11_July
"With two weeks to go to the start of the Games, it is imperative that action is taken to ensure that the full and necessary quota of security personnel is in place so that the Games will be safe and secure," she said.

"We need to know why the problem has emerged so late in the day and precisely what has been agreed to.

"We also must know whether this affects Army commitments elsewhere, which units are providing people and what terms and conditions are given for those who will likely lose periods of leave."

Despite the recruitment issues, G4S will retain overall control of Olympic and Paralympic venue security, working alongside unarmed troops searching and checking people entering the stadiums, such as the Olympic Stadium (pictured above), along with other venues and locations.

Olympic and Paralympic sites number more than 30 sporting venues and over 70 non-competition locations including car parks and hotels.

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