Local staff replace G4S at stadium

Halstead Gazette: Private firms are being drafted in to provide security for Olympic heats at St James' Park, Newcastle Private firms are being drafted in to provide security for Olympic heats at St James' Park, Newcastle

Private security firms have been drafted in to work at Olympic football events after the failure of G4S to provide enough guards.

More than 500 staff from local private companies will provide security at football matches at St James' Park in Newcastle.

The firms were contracted by Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) to "fill in a shortfall created by logistical issues affecting the existing supplier of events staff", Newcastle City Council said.

A total of 50,000 man hours will be required to meet the requirements of the tournament, which runs from July 26 to August 4.

The security at St James' Park will now be delivered exclusively by staff from the region.

A spokesman for the council described the news as a windfall for businesses in the North East.

Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of the council, said: "We're very proud to host Olympic football in the city and to have helped to provide local people to work in the stadium during the games, providing security for those who attend and overseeing money flowing directly into the local economy.

"This extra revenue would otherwise have gone out of the region and I salute the agile and responsive effort from our partners, which has helped to bring this about."

A G4S spokesman told the Northern Echo that security at matches in Newcastle would be taken over by private firms.

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