Old Ford Housing ready with Olympic security guards—even if G4S isn’t

Thirty people have just completed security training in London’s East End ahead of the Olympics—in the week that controversy broke over G4S failing to meet the deadline to supply enough guards for the Games opening next Friday.

But these trainees will be ready for security work on housing estates within a mile of the Olympics Park.

They have been on a scheme run by Old Ford Housing Association for people living in the area. Those completing the eight-day training were being assessed this week before qualifying as guards with the housing association which is increasing security on its estates.

“We took the decision to double-up on our security during the Games,” said a spokesman. “The Olympic training we’ve been running is a contingency plan to increase our concierge service.”

The housing organisation has completed preparations with two weeks to spare before tens-of-thousands of spectators descend on the Olympics Park nearby as well Victoria Park where Olympics festivals are planned.

The preparations contrast with the humiliated G4S security company admitting it was short of security guards for the Olympics. It told a Select Committee of MPs yesterday it expected 7,000 in place by next Friday instead of 10,000 it was contracted for. Police and Army personnel are having to step in to fill the gap.