Thursday, 12 July 2012

What Can You Do with 17,000 Troops?

The news that struck me today concerned the security arrangements for the Olympic Games. I read that G4S, a private security firm was unable to meet the requirements for the Games which start in 15 days. If you were employing any company that left you in the lurch then I presume you would look for compensation. Well there is no mention yet but maybe the security firm will still be looking to get paid for its inadequate planning. However that's not the bit that struck me.

How many competitors are there? Around 10,000? How many security personnel do you need? Well I went to a few events at the Manchester Commonwealth Games and didn't notice any security staff. There were plenty of volunteers opening doors and directing people but I really can't remember seeing any police officers. Did they have members of the armed services to call on? Maybe they did and I suppose they should be available in case we had a tragedy on the scale of the Munich Olympics.

Now if members of an Olympic team are taken hostage how many soldiers would you like to call on? 100? 200? Well multiply that number by four because they will have to work shifts. That's the bit that struck me. There will now be 17,000 members of the armed services working at these Olympics. If something goes wrong in Morecambe then we could pull out all the stops and call on maybe a dozen police officers (I'm always an optimist). Let's just say I am wrong. Well what can possibly go wrong that requires17,000 troops?

The second thing that struck me was the generosity of the Government in response to the G4S fiasco by giving service personnel free tickets to the events. 10,000 Olympic and Paralympic tickets have been donated to the armed services. However it wasn't that long ago when close relatives of the competitors were on the news because they couldn't get tickets. Is this the same organisation that turned customers away because events were oversubscribed? Were they really holding back 10,000 tickets in case of fiasco? Are they holding back another 10,000 tickets just in case?

Change the world

1 comment:

  1. 12 Police responding in Morecambe! Maybe, there were 10 attending something in the street where I live 2-3 weeks back. (presuming 2 officers per vehicle. And the street has been much more peaceful since