1,200 British soldiers put on standby for Olympics

Updated: Jul 20, 2012, 20:57 PM IST

London: An additional 1,200 soldiers have been put on standby to guard the London Olympics, bringing the total number of military personnel involved in the games to 17,000, a media report said on Friday.

The Daily Express said the latest troops will remain at their current bases to be called in at short notice if required.

This was done after officials from private security firm G4S met Olympics organisers Locog and said they were "experiencing scheduling problems" and warned the government of a "possible temporary shortfall" in guards.

The firm later admitted it was no longer confident of reaching its workforce targets.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government "must prepare for every contingency", and said calling on the extra troops was a "sensible precaution".

A guard employed by G4S has been sacked after being caught asleep on the job at the staff entrance of a hotel which is hosting football squads including the British team.