Is The London Olympics Security Good Enough?
In an article released on indymedia.co.uk the investigative Journalist “Lee Hazeldean” claims to have secured a job as a security guard. Working undercover Lee (not his real name) was investigating the Olympics security set up.
In this radio interview Lee states that he was not fully vetted, which is something that G4S undertakes for each employee. Lee also reveals why he believes he has not been vetted.
Olympics Security Arrangements
The security arrangements for the Olympic venues specifically involves extra training around searching and using X-ray machine in addition to other mandatory security training required by the SIA.
What Lee claims to have found is wholesale incompetence in the training of individuals for the use of X-ray machines. In terms of the Olympics security arrangements, there will be a pedestrian screening area, where individuals will have to undertake searches and have their possessions screened before entering the Olympic stadiums.
This is the role that “Lee” will be undertaking along with many other security operatives during the Olympic games.
In his radio interview Lee goes on to claim that new security guards and door supervisors are not being trained properly to use other security equipment
Woefully Inadequate Olympics Security Training
The security training is woefully inadequate and names one of the training providers. One main complaint is that too little time is spent on training, most of which was done by power point when really practical elements are required.
As stated earlier “Lee” is to work in a PSA (Pedestrian Screening Area) and during a training exercise he was asked to pose as a would-be terrorist and managed to get knives, through security screening on every occasion and every exercise. He also states the X-Ray operators have only two days of training and they are not trained properly and often miss the most obvious prohibited items
Lee also claims trainees can’t use vital security equipment like the HHMD (Hand Held Metal detectors). He also states they can’t even communicate properly with the public on a basic level.
Most worryingly the walk through metal detectors don’t work properly and aren’t sensitive enough to pick up large knives, and other metallic threats. He was told that they would be set to go off only after 50 people have walked through to limit queuing time and to get spectators into the venue.
G4S are dragging the job centres to recruit the long term unemployed for security officers regardless of how suitable they. He believes some of the guards do not want to even work in security.
People with no security experience are being rushed through training for their SIA licenses. People who haven’t even completed their SIA licenses yet are being picked to be Team Leaders over highly trained security officers, ex soldiers and ex police.
Lee is also concerned that uniforms are already going missing or being stolen from the uniform distribution centre/training facility. The training facility is an accurate mock-up of the actual security measures at the Olympic venues.
London – The Home of the 2012 Olympic games
In summary Lee believes too many corners are being cut in the security training especially with the time given to training security guards to using the security equipment. To listen to Lee’s views on the Olympics security and the full interview click here.
This comes fast on the heels of the whistle blower Sarah Hubble revealing staff cut corners during the vetting security staff for the Olympics at G4S
Miss Hubble, from Darlington, claimed the system was creaking under the pressure of processing thousands of applications ahead of the Olympics. She had to process/vet a minimum of 10 applicants per hour.
She said: ‘It was an absolute shambles – you had people vetting potential employees who had not been vetted themselves.’
Sarah Hubble lost her job after contacting the media about her experiences working for G4S. To read more about her story vetting staff Olympic security jobs click here
So given all the money that has been spent on security and all the planning that has gone into planning a safe Olympics do you this Lee is overstating the reality of the security arrangements? Or is “Lee” is doing a public service in suggesting that the Olympics security is not good enough?