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, 2 May 2012

Mobilising Outrage

In another excellent article from John Grayson on Open Democracy, the processes of our no to G4S campaign are put in context:

How does a company with G4S’s reputation clean up on so many public privatising contracts now worth well over £1 billion a year in the UK alone? 
Firstly, it simply coopts, employs or buys former senior politicians, civil servants and diplomats to ‘advise’ and lobby for its contracts. The best known is former Home Secretary John (now Lord) Reid, a G4S board member. In recent months G4S has appointed to the new post of Director of Probation and Community Services David Griffiths, recently Deputy Director (justice policy) at the Ministry of Justice. 
In January Richard Northern joined G4S Risk Management as an adviser. He is “the former British Ambassador to Libya during the period leading up to and throughout the 2011 uprising”. According to G4S, he will be “pivotal in identifying, introducing and developing relationships with prospective clients and key Libyan decision-makers”.

(First published in Open Democracy on the 12th April, 2012)

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