Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OLYMPIC PARK SEMTEX SCARE; TWO 2012 GUARDS ARE 'CAUGHT WITH EXPLOSIVES'; 2012 Security Tightened as Site Guards Held over Explosives

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OLYMPIC PARK SEMTEX SCARE; TWO 2012 GUARDS ARE 'CAUGHT WITH EXPLOSIVES'; 2012 Security Tightened as Site Guards Held over Explosives

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard and Justin Davenport

A HUGE security review was ordered today at the Olympic Games park in east London after two guards were caught with explosives.

Police said a 40-year-old woman dog handler was arrested after her vehicle was searched and she was found in possession of Semtex and a substance suspected to be cocaine. It also emerged today that a man aged 43 was arrested yesterday at home in Wales on suspicion of possessing an explosive substance. He was being questioned today at an east London police station.

Both suspects are believed to be employees of London 2012's official private security firm G4S.

The arrests are a major embarrassment to the Olympic authorities, coming just weeks after the company was awarded a [pounds sterling]130 million contract to protect the 500-acre site.

Under the deal, it will supply 10,000 guards for security at all Games venues across Britain. The woman was arrested on Tuesday at a car park in Pudding Mill Lane, just yards from the Olympic stadium. Today she was charged with possession of Class A drugs and bailed in connection with the explosives.

Police sources say they have no evidence of criminal intent or connection with terrorism but the arrests undermine claims about the level of security at Britain's most tightly monitored building site.

G4S, formerly Group 4 Securicor, has provided security at the Olympic Park site since 2008 and other sporting sites including Wimbledon and Aintree.

Scotland Yard said officers recovered explosives thought to be Semtex. It is believed the amount found was small enough to fit in a trouser pocket, and would have been used to train the dogs in the woman's charge to scent explosives at the site. Some handlers are thought to source their own supplies. Police are believed to be investigating the possibility it did not come from a licensed stock held for training.

Olympic Site Support Unit officers swooped as the guard got into her car on Tuesday evening after a tip-off. Another car was stopped moments later on the M11 nearby and more searches were carried out at homes in London and Kent -- but no further substances were found. …

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