Exclusive: Coventry Olympics Security Shortage

Coventry Olympic Rings

Free Radio has been told the Olympic football in Coventry has only got half the number of security people needed…

With less than two weeks until the first Olympic football game in Coventry, Free Radio understands the Ricoh Arena has got less than half the number of security people needed.

Private contractor G4s was given a contract worth nearly £300m to keep the Games secure.

Free Radio has been told they were supposed to provide 900 guards for the matches in Coventry, but have only got 400.

We also understand the firm has asked the stadium to provide the remaining 500 staff.

The security operation at the Ricoh Arena, which has been renamed ‘The City of Coventry Stadium’ during the Olympics, suffered problems during a test event back in April.

There were large queues outside, because security checks on fans were taking too long.

20 minutes before kick-off, the decision was taken to suspend checks, so that people would not miss the start of the game.

The Police Federation for England and Wales is also claiming that in Warwickshire today, 150 G4s staff were supposed to be accredited at one of the county’s “Island Sites”, but only one person turned up.

The Home Secretary has denied that security for the Games as a whole is a ‘shambles’.

Mrs May has confirmed that 3,500 soldiers have been drafted in bolster guard levels.

In a statement to the Commons she said:

“The Government’s overriding priority is to use all resources necessary to deliver a safe and secure Olympic Games and that’s what the public and the House would expect,” she said

“The security operation has been meticulously planned, it will be the largest and most complex security operation in this country since the Second World War.”

LOCOG and the Ricoh Arena told Free Radio they would not comment on specific security arrangements for the stadium.

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Headlines supplied by Sky News.