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Police ‘Will Plug G4S Olympic Gap’

More officers are to be drafted in nationally to help cope with the Olympic security operation

Police officers will help plug the gap left by the shortfall in G4S security personnel at the Olympics, it has been confirmed.

It is being widely reported that up to 200 additional officers nationwide could be drafted in to help compensate for G4S falling 3,500 personnel short of its contracted target with government for the Olympics. However, no official figure has been provided.

The confirmation came as G4S Chief Executive Nick Buckles appeared before members of the Home Affairs Select Committee. A PoliceOracle.com reporter was at the hearing and further details will be available shortly.

Humberside Chief Constable Tim Hollis, who oversees the Police National Information Coordination Centre (PNICC) concerning mutual aid for the OIympics, said plans were being revised by police “nationally” following the G4S resourcing issues.

CC Hollis however made it clear that the financial burden should not fall on the police.

He said: “I would reassure people that I will take robust steps to ensure that the cost of any such additional demand does not fall on local forces. It cannot be acceptable for the failures of a private company to fall upon the shoulders of the public sector, be it the military or the police.

“I do also consider this experience will have long term implications. In recent years we’ve heard a great deal of how the private sector can take on aspects of the policing in a more cost effective manner, and I don’t doubt that there is an element of truth in that, but it is not a panacea.

“On this particular occasion they have been weighed, measured and found wanting and the military and police have stepped up to recover the situation – but at a cost.”

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has also weighed in to the argument.

She added: “It is incomprehensible that with eleven days to go the Home Secretary still doesn't know how many staff G4S are likely to provide.

“But if even more troops and police are going to be needed they need to know fast so they can prepare.”

National Olympic Security Coordinator, AC Chris Allison, attempted to calm fears over the security situation.

He said: "While some of the activity police officers are undertaking was not anticipated, plans were put in place to allow us to do this.

“Forces are making sure they make the best use of their resources locally to do all they can to minimise the impact on local policing.

"Delivering a safe and secure Games is a priority, but we will not compromise on keeping our local communities safe.

"We will continue to work closely with all our partners to get the job done, and these current deployments will be kept under constant review.

“At the present time this is not impacting upon our existing plans for the safety and security operation."

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