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.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Keeping an Eye on G4S

CorpWatch, a non-profit investigative journalism and research group, have recently published a brilliant overview of the privatisation of asylum housing in the UK. Reinforcing our concerns about G4S' capability of providing dignified, safe and secure housing for asylum seekers in the UK, CorpWatch's article (written by a London School of Economics masters student, Lily Smith) hammers the point home:

"Saving money means moving people to the cheapest housing and the cheapest housing is not going to be the best housing by any means,” says Stuart Crossthwaite, from South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group. “When people come here they deserve protection and that's why this country signed the refugee convention and its why Sheffield is a city of sanctuary." 
Unfortunately, the UK government and G4S seem to disagree.

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