G4S whistleblower: 50 per cent chance of Olympics bomb
Slack guards have missed mock bombs and weapons, says expert employed to train Games security staff
A WHISTLEBLOWER who worked with G4S on preparing security personnel for London 2012 has said there is a "50 per cent" chance of a bomb being carried into an Olympic venue when the Games begin in two weeks' time.
He told Sky News that trainees who failed basic tasks were still given a security badge and approved to work in the Olympic park. One security guard failed to find a 9mm pistol hidden in a volunteer's sock during a patdown while another allowed a 'terrorist' who put a mock bomb through an X-ray machine to melt away into the crowd.
The whistleblower's claim follows yesterday's row over the army being forced to step in as cover for G4S's failure to meet the obligations of its contract to supply enough Olympic security guards.
In a separate development, MPs expressed concerns that the Olympics had put "unprecedented pressure" on MI5 and MI6 and left the UK vulnerable at a critical period.
The G4S whistleblower told Sky: "I can see so many security loopholes for this event. Security staff are given a very short time to achieve their training and there is a very slack approach.
"During my employment I planted pretend IEDs, decommissioned weapons, knives and other large metallic objects on students and sent them through the metal detectors.
"They're not being seen by X-ray staff and they're not being picked up during physical searches, so the training is completely insufficient."
The whistleblower estimated that 99 per cent per cent of personnel coming through the G4S training system had no security background. "Many have language problems," he added, "so they won't be able to communicate with ticketholders and many completely lack confidence."
He claimed that only 10 per cent of the trainees should have been employed for the Olympics but that there appeared to be a "zero-fail policy".
He concluded: "I think if you walked through into one of the Olympic venues with a lethal capability on you then you have a 50 per cent chance of getting through that screening procedure and getting into the venue."
Meanwhile, people who have applied to work for G4S during the Olympics have been giving their own horror stories surrounding the recruitment process.
One ex-police applicant told The Guardian that the process is “an utter farce”, adding: “There were people who couldn't spell their own name... Most people hadn't filled in their application forms correctly. Some didn't know what references were and others said they didn't have anyone who could act as a referee. The G4S people were having to prompt them, saying things like ‘what about your uncle?’”
G4S also reportedly sent out a request yesterday to the National Association of Retired Police Officers asking for anyone to come forward who can start at short notice.
The sense of an Olympic security meltdown will not be helped by a report published yesterday by MPs on the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee expressing concern that preparations for London 2012 had put "unprecedented pressure" on MI5 and MI6 and that lower priority security service business was being neglected.
According to the BBC, the report says MI5 has highlighted three potential threats to the Games:
- An attack by al-Qaeda or its affiliates on US or Israeli athletes and spectators;
- An attack or hoax by Irish republican dissidents which would be more likely to cause disruption than casualties;
- Clashes between rival groups of foreign nationals visiting London for the Olympics.