G4S is the UK's biggest private security company, with its government contracts alone worth over £600 million. Responsible for security services, managing detention centres, prisons, and 675 court and police station holding cells, G4S have also just been granted the £100 million contract for providing 10,000 security guards for the upcoming olympics.

Whilst G4S still seem to be government favourites, their record is far from spotless. The firm lost their previous 'forcible deportation' contract last September after receiving 773 complaints of abuse – both verbal and physical. The final straw came with the death of Jimmy Mubenga in October 2010, an Angolan asylum seeker who died as a result of his forced deportation by G4S guards. Two of the guards are on bail facing criminal charges, whilst G4S is still waiting to hear whether they are to face corporate manslaughter charges.

Now, asylum seekers in Yorkshire and Humberside are expected to accept this multi-national, money-hungry, security company as their landlords.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

City of Sanctuary, not Private Security

Today's Guardian Northerner blog again pushed the G4S housing takeover into the mainstream media spotlight. It's definitely worth a read, if only for the following shocking quotation from Sheffield Councillor Mick Rooney:
As a Cabinet Member I will enter into a working relationship with G4S without prejudice. I cannot and will not allow their past record to colour my relationship.
Such willing blindness to G4S' terrible reputation is frightening to say the least; so much for the 'proven track record' supposedly demanded from prospective bidders for these housing contracts. To stop a company who is still waiting to hear whether they will be charged with corporate manslaughter from housing asylum seekers in Yorkshire is hardly acting on prejudice, it is common sense.

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