Unions piled onto Olympic security bunglers G4S today as its Herculean screw-ups helped scupper a £1.5 billion police privatisation plan.
Despite handing G4S £284 million to safeguard the Games with 14,000 security guards the company has just 4,000 ready to go and 20,000 in training.
Manic ministers have had to call in another 3,500 soldiers to cope - just two weeks before the opening ceremony.
And now West Midlands and Surrey police chiefs have put in doubt the future of the £1.5bn contract to do vital police work, which G4S had hoped to sink its teeth into.
Surrey Police said today it had changed its mind and was pulling out of the whole thing.
And the West Midlands Police Authority said it would carry on but leave any decision to the new police and crime commisioner set to be elected in November.
The original tender carried extra weight thanks to dozens of other forces signalling their interest but "without any obligation" to join the sell-off.
Originally revealed in March, the document states the forces want to hand privateers all services that "can legally be delegated to the private sector."
Dozens of Unite and Unison union members representing police staff rallied outside the West Midlands police headquarters in Birmingham today, where West Mids and Surrey chiefs were meeting.
Unison national officer Ben Priestley said Surrey's decision to stop showed it had "seen the light."
And Unite general secretary Len McCluskey condemned the West Mids' decision to press on in any way, especially after the Olympic security "fiasco."
He said: "Yet again a public service - this time the army - is forced to mop up after a failing private contractor, at considerable cost to the taxpayer and damage to the reputation of London's Olympics.
"If G4S can cut corners with the Olympics then it doesn't bear thinking about what they will do to essential police services like 999 call handling or forensics.
"It beggars belief that these private companies can be seriously considered as providers of essential public services like policing," he said.
The West Midlands Police Federation's chairman Ian Edwards said: "This is shambolic - we've known the Olympics were coming to London for seven years."
G4S has already made major inroads into Britain's public sector. It runs six private prisons and three immigration detention centres, and in April won a 10-year, £200m contract to design, build and run a set of police cells near Lincolnshire's police headquarters at Nettleham.
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