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Soldiers drafted in to guard Hadleigh Country Park after G4S security shambles
SOLDIERS are being be drafted in at Hadleigh Farm after a security firm failed to recruit enough staff to cover the Olympics.
Troops will be required to fill the gaps after it emerged G4S had failed to meet its target of supplying 10,000 guards.
As a result, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed an additional 3,500 military personnel would be deployed, including some who have just returned from Afghanistan.
The Echo has learnt some soldiers are being sent to Hadleigh where the Olympic mountain biking event is being staged on August 11 and August 12.
An MoD spokeswoman said the troops would assisting with venue security in the run-up to and during the event.
However, she was unable to confirm numbers, what the soldiers would specifically be doing and what regiments the soldiers might come from.
Preparations to get the site ready for the two-day event are now well under way.
Yesterday a number of tents were captured on camera.
A LOCOG spokesman would not confirm their exact uses, but it is believed a large white structure is a security port where vehicles and people will be searched, while smaller tents will be used to sell official merchandise, food and drink.
Other marquees at the site are believed to provide areas where security staff can eat and take a break.
Meanwhile, an Essex Police spokeswoman said officers would carry out patrols in the surrounding area, but security at the venue was not the force’s responsibility.
She said: “At this time, there has been no deployment of Essex Police officers in support of LOCOG venue security.
“Delivering a safe and secure Games is a priority. However, we will not compromise on keeping the streets and our local communities safe.”
l Boats from the UK Border Agency cruised around in the waters off Southend yesterday.
A couple of Cutters were deployed in the Thames Estuary, helping to patrol the country on a 24-hour basis.
The vessels, which are not armed, are normally used to detect prohibited or restricted goods and prevent tax fraud by searching all types of vessels. The agency could not confirm if the boats were part of the Olympic security.