Glasgow 2014: Army to help provide security

The army is to help with security at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Troops on duty outside Londons Olympic stadium in 2012. Picture: Getty
Troops on duty outside Londons Olympic stadium in 2012. Picture: Getty

Soldiers will join police and private security guards, following an agreement with the Home Office.

Sport minister Shona Robison told MSPs: “London 2012 demonstrated how security was enhanced and public confidence increased when private security guards worked closely with our highly regarded police and military personnel.

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“I have therefore agreed with Police Scotland and the organising committee to deploy a mixed workforce involving police, military and private industry resources to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful Games.

“To assist with this, the Chief Constable of Police Scotland requested military assistance from UK government.”

Ms Robison said Home Secretary Theresa May had confirmed the request had been granted and the intention was the UK government would absorb the costs of supplying troops.

She added: “This is a welcome development which illustrates the co-operation between both governments to ensure the security of the Games.”

Ms Robison said she had written back to the Home Office asking that the Royal Regiment of Scotland be the one deployed at the Games.

She also described progress on projects connected with the Games, which start in 174 days. About £10 million has been spent building or improving physical activity centres and some 250,000 children will benefit from a “game on Scotland” educational programme. She added that more than 80 per cent of Games-related contracts had been awarded to 400 companies in Scotland.

Labour’s Patricia Ferguson said: “It is appropriate we take stock and consider the progress that has been made, and perhaps even the areas where more work needs to be done if the Glasgow Games are to be the resounding success we all want them to be, and if we are on track to guarantee the legacy that has been promised.”

The Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn MSP said plans to draft in helpers were in progress and went on: “Some of us are able to report from personal experience that the process of recruiting volunteers has been a professional, not to say robust, one. Behind the scenes, great strides are being made in the organisation of the events themselves.”