G4S seek redemption with 2014 Commonwealth Games bid

G4S bid for Glasgow 2014 spot. Photograph: David Davies/PA

By Jonathan C. H. Davis

G4S have staged a bid to be part of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year to avenge their humiliation at last summer’s London 2012 Olympics.

The private security company, solely responsible for Games Security at London 2012, had to pay £70m in compensation to organising committee Locog after 3,500 soldiers were drafted in for the event. This followed G4S’s admission two weeks before the opening ceremony that they were not able to provide enough guards.

Glasgow 2014 organisers have already put strategies in place to safe guard against a repeat of what happened in London by divide up the contracts between a number of security firms.

A Glasgow 2014 spokeswoman said “We are working to support Police Scotland, who have responsibility for Games security, to deliver a safe and secure Commonwealth Games next summer.

“Learning from previous Games, we have offered opportunities to a wide range of compliant providers from the private security industry to contribute to delivering a safe and enjoyable Games experience for athletes, officials and spectators.

“Companies will be considered on their merits and assessed in line with detailed tendering requirements and procedures. No appointments have been made.”

Glasgow 2014’s organisers are offering two aspects of event security to private companies – safety stewarding and security guarding – with G4S preparing a bid for the former.

A G4S spokesperson said, “As the existing provider of stewarding services at a number of Games venues, we are participating in the process to be included in the framework to continue to provide these services during the Games.

“We already work for Hampden Park, Ibrox Stadium, and the new Hydro Arena, and have unrivalled experience at major events such as ‘T in the Park’ and ‘RockNess'”

The announcement has already come under heavy scrutiny, with Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz stating, “I am astonished that G4S has the nerve to apply for this contract. This is the company whose poor management nearly wrecked the greatest Olympics of modern times and led us to call in the troops.”

Despite these comments,  the security company, are confident they are well placed to bid for Glasgow2014’s security contracts, stating “G4S is one of the largest employers in Scotland with around 5,000 people working to provide services across the country.”