armed forces

Helen Warrell

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

During the past two weeks of Olympic mania, the UK media has been unashamedly blinded by gold.

Even the most cynical of British hacks were more interested in the country’s growing medal tally than the logistical arrangements which had occupied thousands of column inches in the months leading up to the games.

But as the closing ceremony approaches, perhaps it is time to take stock of the UK’s organisational performance – specifically on security. The plans laid by games organisers and the Home Office hit a last-minute setback when it emerged only days before the event that G4S, a private contractor, would not be able to provide the promised 10,400 venue guards and the army would have to step in to cover the shortfall. At the time, the company said that it would only be able to guarantee around 5,000 guards for the start of the games, so what have they actually delivered?

G4S was proudly tweeting earlier this week that 7,500 of its staff were working at games venues and that the additional 3,500 military drafted in to make up the numbers were being withdrawn.

Things have not gone entirely smoothly, however. Read more