The organisers of the 2012 Olympic Games originally thought they would need about 14,000 security guards but they now realise that 24,000 is a more likely figure. London doesn’t have them and the organisers will pay top dollar to get them. Very tempting for door staff in Brighton & Hove.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced an additional £271m for security of over 100 Olympic venues on top of the existing venue security budget of £282m. There is also a police and security budget of £475m with a £238m contingency fund if the threat level increases. These figures combined push the overall security spend to over £1bn.
But the real problem will not be finding the money but finding the personnel. With about 10,000 Security Industry Agency [SIA] trained guards in London and about 3,000 in Sussex the Olympic organisers will be pulling in staff from far and wide.
This could leave venues in towns and cities short staffed as the attraction of high pay rates tempts door supervisors to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime, three week opportunity. The Licensing and Safety Manager for Sussex Police – Jean Irving – has made it clear that if venues cannot fulfill the conditions of their licences, which include a certain number of door staff, they will be forced to close.
Nick Griffin – spokesperson for the Brighton & Hove Licensees Association – is quoted in the Argus as saying, “Perhaps the police would be better placed engaging with the companies that provide security for venues . . . . . rather than issuing veiled threats to those unfortunately caught up in a situation not of their own making”
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