Police left with £400k bill after G4S failures

Greater Manchester Police were left with a bill of more than £400,000 after they were forced to work at 2012 Olympics events this summer following the failure of private security firm G4S.

Manchester MP John Leech has written to home secretary Theresa May asking for assurances that the force will get its money back after the cost of stepping in to police football matches at Old Trafford was revealed as £440,553.

Officers and members of the military were called on to help police events across the country after G4S failed to recruit enough guards to fulfil their contract with the government to provide security at the Games.

A House of Commons question on the cost of taking over those duties to police forces showed that GMP had incurred one of the biggest expenditures, after West Midlands, South Wales and Strathclyde police.

The bulk of the cost is overtime payments to officers who had to be drafted in at the last minute. G4S have committed to reimbursing the government for policing costs after their boss was pulled before a House of Commons committee in the wake of the fiasco.

GMP confirmed they were expecting to receive the money from the Home Office.

In his letter to Ms May, Mr Leech, Liberal Democrat MP for Withington and the party’s spokesman for culture, media and sport, said: “The process of reimbursement is said to be ongoing.

However, I believe that there should not have arisen a situation where GMP were forced to expend financial resources and disrupt the work schedules of their employees to cover the failings of a private security firm.

“What assurances can you provide, firstly in ensuring that GMP is fully reimbursed for their material costs and great inconvenience, and secondly in ensuring that such a situation will not happen in the future?”

GMP is already facing huge budget pressures following government cuts to policing. The force is losing thousands of civilian and officer posts after seeing their budget slashed by 20 per cent. A force spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Police are being reimbursed by the Home Office.”