Olympic workers arrested for UK immigration offences

03 Aug 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Three people due to work as security staff at an Olympic event have been arrested on suspicion of UK immigration charges.

The trio are known to have been employed by a private security firm but are not associated with G4S, which has struggled with a number of problems on its Olympics contract. In fact, Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council, where the three were due to work, replaced G4S staff with local firms earlier this week due to staffing issues.

The identity and nationality of the employees remains unknown but a spokesman from the Home Office explained that they were arrested on Wednesday (August 1st) just hours ahead of the Mexico vs. South Korea match that was due to be held at the city's football stadium.

The representative added: “These arrests show that UK Border Agency (UKBA) checks are working. The responsibility for ensuring that employees have a right to work in the UK rests with the employer.

“The UKBA is working closely with employers and contractors at Olympic venues to prevent illegal working.”

Organising the staff for the Olympics has been the country's biggest-ever peacetime security operation, with a force of more than 40,000 military and civilian personnel employed along with the support of a huge intelligence operation keeping a close eye on every stage of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Prime minister David Cameron stressed that safety will be the top priority throughout the Games. Mr Cameron remarked: “I think we've made as many preparations as we can. I think we have very good contingency plans in place.”

The news comes shortly after two Olympic guards at Coventry's Ricoh Arena were arrested on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. The pair, originally from Pakistan, were thought to have been working at the arena for several weeks before the immigration authorities caught up with them.