This Wednesday (27th June), the managing director of G4S' Justice Services will be speaking at a conference at Leeds University (full timetable here) about the privatisation of justice and policing services. A representative from SERCO will also be at the event. We think it's time to ask some awkward questions...
We're planning to assemble outside the Liberty Building (University of Leeds Law School - see map) at 8.30am on Wednesday morning, just to make sure that the less favourable facts about G4S and SERCO are made known.
G4S' chief predicting mass-privatisation of the police force within 5 years. Also, see Corporate Watch's brilliant annual report on G4S, and a pretty accurate Alternative Shareholders Report circulated by campaigners at G4S' recent AGM. We've also drafted a flyer for distribution outside the conference venue (any extra copies would be much appreciated!) Please circulate far and wide...
We need to make sure these multi-national security companies know that even though governments may not scrutinise their conduct, we will hold them to account for their actions. We do not want profiteering security contractors housing asylum seekers in the UK. We do not want private security guards masquerading as police officers. The state is not for sale.
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.