Following recent cuts to police numbers, Thames Valley Police have been stretched still further by the failure of G4S to provide enough staff for the Olympics. Last week Chief Constable Sara Thornton informed the Police Authority that an extra 21 officers had had to be drafted in to cover for G4S during the rowing events at Eton Dorney. It was also revealed that the 420 Irish Guards already deployed at the site would be joined by an additional 125 men from the 1st Rifles, who are just back from Afghanistan.|
Labour's Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for the Thames Valley, Tim Starkey, commented: "The police and troops are doing a fantastic job, but there are important lessons to learn from this sorry saga. Outsourcing police functions to private firms like G4S, as is happening up and down the country, is simply not the answer. Police privatisation must stop!"
Reading Labour Leader Jo Lovelock added: “When G4S failed to turn up, the police were there to step in, albeit at the cost to policing elsewhere. But what Boris Johnson is planning in London, and other Tories elsewhere, is that G4S should provide police patrols and investigate crime, and if that is agreed and G4S fail to turn up to those police duties, there won’t be anybody to step in. We can’t risk our policing turning into that sort of shambles.”