- Title: UK/FILE - OLYMPICS: Recruitment race is on for Olympics security staff
- Date: 27th January 2012
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE) (REUTERS) OLYMPIC STADIUM SECURITY CAMERA OUTSIDE STADIUM LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE) (REUTERS) POLICE OFFICERS IN SECURITY DRILL CHECKING SEATS INSIDE STADIUM
- Embargoed: 11th February 2012 12:00
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA6K1FL9O3AZTIQMK29OMGZXTAB
- Story Text: A private security firm opened up it's recruitment centre near the Olympic stadium in East London on Thursday (January 26) as part of a massive drive to hire 14,000 jobs to keep the Olympic venues and visitors safe during the Summer Games.
Late last year London 2012 organisers more than doubled the number of security staff they said they would need. The number jumped from 10,000 to 23,700.
Security guards will come from a mixture of the military, police, private security and volunteers.
The military alone will provide 13,500 personnel, more than the 10,000 deployed to Afghanistan.
G4S is the company contracted to supply all the private security staff.
They have a mammoth job to train thousands of successful applicants over the coming months.
"In their training they are given guidance on all the type of threats that we may be faced with. So part of the training is also being involved with the national counter-terrorism department," said Mark Hamilton, Managing Director of G4S London 2012.
The British government has said that security is the single biggest threat to the smooth running of the Games.
Hamilton said his staff will have to be aware of many potential dangers.
"There is a number of different threats that we are facing and we just have to make sure that the training accommodates all of that and all of the personnel are made aware of that, and it is not just about training. Training doesn't just happen once, it continues through all the time they are deployed as well," he said.
The security budget rocketed from 282 million pounds to 553 million pounds due to swelling numbers of guards needed.
Locog (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) Chief Executive Paul Deighton said he's confident all the right planning has been now put into place.
"I am very very calm. I know that we are doing all we can possibly do and the reason that we are here today is to make sure that the execution behind those very good plans is as efficient as it needs to be to keep the probabilities firmly on our side about keeping these Games safe," he said.
The Games security jobs with G4S will provide temporary work for thousands and could lead to full-time jobs for some.
21-year-old Jack Dobson, who has been unable to find security work elsewhere, hopes the London 2012 job could be his Olympic employment dream.
"I would definitely be very happy with it. It's a lot of responsibility and something that I would be proud of I would be able to tell family and friends," he said.
Aside from the obvious threat posed by international groups carrying out attacks, Britain's security services are also preparing for cyber crime and ticket touts.
They also announced this week that the threat of protest camps at the venues had increased since the Occupy movement swept London and much of the world last year.
While protests will be allowed, Deighton said camps will not be tolerated.
G4S and Locog are keen to stress that London 2012 is a sports event with an underlay of security, not the other way around. They are pledging that visitors to the capital will not be intimidated by the mammoth security operation running behind the scenes.
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