The Royal Mint is no longer going to use the Ministry of Defence to provide security. G4S will start providing security for the Royal Mint from July 2016.
The decision was taken after the Royal Mint opened its coin-making facilities in Wales to visitors. This is the first time in Royal Mint’s 1,000-year history that visitors will get an opportunity to see how coins in the UK are made.
A spokesperson for the Royal Mint confirmed that a private security contractor team comprising trained guards will be taking over the security from 4th July.
G4S revealed that it has been awarded the contract for five years, with a possible extension of two years. The private security firm is one of the largest employers of ex-servicemen and police in the UK as well as the US. In the US, about one-quarter of its staff of 57,000 are military veterans.
G4S announced that the security team that will be deployed at the Royal Mint will include ex-military Gurkha personnel.
G4S has a presence in 110 countries and employs close to 620,000 staff. However, its reputation took a hit after a number of scandals relating to government contracts in the UK. It started in 2012, when the firm did not provide sufficient security guards during the London Olympics. As a result, the army was forced to pitch in.
The Serious Fraud Office is conducting an investigation against the private security contractor to ascertain whether it overcharged the government for electronic monitoring of offenders.
Working with money is not a new experience for G4S. It holds money for the Bank of England at its 35 cash centres, and is also one of the biggest delivery services to ATM machines across the UK.
The firm guards the gold and bullion vault on behalf of Chinese bank ISBC in London. In addition, the private security contractor’s logistics arm is responsible for transferring precious metals, gold bullion and art throughout the world.