Rt Hon Theresa May MP,
2 Marsham Street
June 5 2012
Dear Home Secretary,
I’m writing to you because I am alarmed by the revelations in today’s Guardian newspaper about the private security firm Close Protection UK (CPUK) – ('Unemployed bussed in to steward river pageant' - Guardian, June 5 2012)
If the allegations are true, it is totally unacceptable that young unemployed people were bussed in to London from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth and forced to sleep out in the cold overnight before stewarding a major event with no payment.
I am deeply concerned that a private security firm is not only providing policing on the cheap but failing to show a duty of care to its staff and threatening to withdraw an opportunity to work at the Olympics as a means to coerce them to work unpaid.
It also raises very serious questions about the suitability of using private security contractors to do frontline policing instead of trained police officers.
I call on you to immediately investigate this matter and alert the Security Industry Authority to see if CPUK has breached its SIA Approved Contractor Status.
I believe that this could be a breach of 2.3.1(f) of the SIA Approved Contractor Status Terms and Conditions of Approval, which states a contractor can have approved status removed if it is “found no longer to meet the fit and proper person criteria applied by the SIA.”
I also ask you and the Secretary of State for DCMS to urgently review CPUK’s contract to provide security during the Olympics.
It would be completely inappropriate for a company that appears to have such a blatant disregard for the care of its workers to be policing such a prestigious event.