Tensions are rising over the level of security that will be provided at the London Olympics, with the US voicing repeated concerns over the number of personnel who will be present.

The Guardian newspaper learned that the US is intending to send 1,000 of its own security agents, including 500 from the FBI, to provide protection for American contestants and diplomats.

The restrictions of ‘stop and search’ anti-terrorism powers in the UK have caused concern in the US, the newspaper says, but UK officials are concerned about America’s ‘meddling’ and the extent of their presence at the Olympics next year.

Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) originally estimated 10,000 security guards would provide adequate protection, but after a review, now suggests that it will need up to 21,000.

The Ministry of Defence has offered 3,000 soldiers, with 2,000 in reserve, but more guards will require a large amount of funding.

One official told the paper: “There is less than a year to go and they've only just realised they need twice the number of security guards they first thought. Where is the money to pay for this coming from? It is an extra burden on the defence budget that we could well do without.”

Another source said: “Everyone has now realised 10,000 was an underestimate. This is one of the biggest problems facing the Olympic authorities because there is an absolute dearth of vetted and qualified private security guards. Senior police had advised ministers and the committee that 10,000 was too few, but nobody wanted to listen because of the cost involved.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The focus of the Government and everyone involved is to deliver a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy.

“Ministers and officials from across government are working closely with the police and Locog to ensure we have a robust safety and security strategy.”

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Roy Rowlands writes for Public Sector Executive an essential guide to public sector management offering a wide view public sector news views and opinions