Troops to fill security gap at Olympics

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LONDON -- The head of a British security firm said yesterday he was sorry that his company had bungled the contract to help protect the 2012 Olympic Games.

Nick Buckles, chief executive of G4S, spoke as British newspapers were filled with accounts of chaotic recruitment, sloppy security and even an allegation that some G4S staffers weren't fluent in English.

The company has not been able to provide enough guards, and some 3,500 British troops are being called in to help fill the gap in security.

"We're deeply disappointed and we certainly are very sorry for what's happened over the last week or two," Buckles told the BBC. "It's a very complex process. No one's ever undertaken to recruit 10,000 fully-trained security staff for such a lengthy period of time."

Buckles added that he only became aware of the problem eight or nine days ago. The opening ceremonies for the games are July 27.

The Daily Mirror quoted Sarah Hubble, whom it described as a former G4S recruiter, as saying that background checks were skipped to meet targets and that sensitive recruitment material was left lying around the company's offices. -- AP

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