A report in the tabloid press today claims that G4S have been fraudulently recording canine search team activity at the site of the Olympic site in Stratford, East London. The three year-long scandal has recently been exposed by an internal audit and has resulted in the suspension of two senior dog section managers while an investigation is completed.
The reason for the deception – profit protection.
The deal for security at the Games between G4S and Olympic organisers, Locog, is worth £284 million and has conditions attached to it requiring all the contracted shifts must be covered or financial penalties will be imposed. The figure reported is £500 per uncovered shift.
When gaps occurred in the schedule it is alleged that the bosses at G4S took steps to protect their funds and simply filled the gaps in their rota with the names of employees who were on days off or leave, thus avoiding the penalties. It is also rumoured that some of the search dogs being used were not explosives dogs, but drugs dogs drafted in due to a lack of appropriately trained animals.
Unfortunately, this means that for the duration of the project, the searches of traffic entering the site and the facilities themselves have not been searched as often as required, if at all. With the Olympics being such a huge potential target for those that would seek to further their causes by terrorism or any other means possible, it would have been nice to think that the security contract would have been treated more seriously.
Translated into the Policing environment, it’s is not a huge leap to go from false recording if search dog activity to false recording of welfare checks on prisoners being held in G4S managed custody suites. We all dread a death in custody – I hope that, over the next few years, I never have to write about someone losing their life as a result of negligence in one of our non-Police staffed custody centres.
Only time will tell….