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.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

G4S News Update // 23rd - 29th July 2012

Here's a summary of the big G4S stories from the last week:

The Secret Security Guard, The Guardian, 23rd July 2012: A G4S employee at the Olympic park has gone rogue and is now blogging for The Guardian. Seems like he/she doesn't have much else to do, anyway.

Security staff lose keys to Wembley stadium, New Zealand Herald, 30th July 2012: Proving their penchant for creating stories with fantastic headlines, G4S are now involved in a confusion over the keys to the national stadium.

G4S plan boardroom shake-upSky News, 27th July 2012: Surely expectant of further headwinds and post-Olympic scrutiny, G4S are sounding out "heavyweight" directors.

Ed Miliband's G4S nightmare over party conference security, New Statesman, 25th July 2012: Slightly embarrassing little nugget

G4S guard at St Anne's church during metal theftBBC, 25th July 2012: Just a small story, but extremely significant. Shows how just the simple involvement of the company in any story has become headlineworthy. The disproportionate amount of interest almost makes one feel sorry for them...... Almost. 

G4S: Olympic Chaos, Asylum Housing Chaos: A SYMAAG Statement

Private security army G4S have been in the news a lot recently. And not just because they are being paid £135 million of public money to house asylum seekers in Yorkshire, despite their record of abuse and racism towards them (for example, see here or here or here or here).

Most spectacularly, the world’s biggest security army have, of course, failed to provide security at the Olympic games (this time they were paid £284 million of public money). In response, G4S are now trying to recruit a new public relations manager.

An emergency bulletin from SYMAAG notog4s

As most of you will know we in the notog4s campaign have tended to assume that the UKBA /G4S undertakings and official statements have meant that evictions and movements of single people and families would, for the majority, mean movements, at worst, within the broad region of Yorkshire and the Humber.

The latest official UKBA Transition bulletin makes it abundantly clear that the claims we made early on in the campaign that in South and West Yorkshire in particular there simply was not a market in ‘decent’ PRS (Public Rented Sector) housing for G4S to exploit was absolutely correct.

Target Housing off target

One family of two adults and a one year old were moved on Tuesday 24th July 100 miles from Sheffield to Stockton onTees. The UKBA Transition Bulletin openly threatens more families with such a move.

This case is even more significant because it was from an existing private landlord property, although the new G4S contractor in Sheffield, Target Housing claim to have accommodation available for families – so why have the family been sent 100 miles away from contacts and support?

In Barnsley asylum seeker families have been warned by the outgoing asylum team of moves possibly to Hull and Newcastle. One family interviewed this week ,of grandparents, parents and school age children,  were given this warning and told they would probably have to move their household possessions in two bags each.

Live Management, the G4S contractor in Barnsley is, we understand, considering acquiring unsuitable properties which they propose to use on a ‘temporary’ basis until they can find contract compliant ones.

The Return of Angel Lodge

The dreaded Angel Lodge inWakefield, purchased from Angel Housing, has emerged as the new Yorkshire IA centre from September. SYMAAG executive members have horrific memories of actually staying in this dreadful accommodation, oppositeWakefieldhigh security prison. We are campaigning against this decision.

This chaos in UKBA and G4S also indicates that our campaigning (removing UPM and now mobilising against Target) has deepened the crisis for the UKBA and G4S. The ‘soft’ approach of Andrew Gray has now been replaced by the asylum market business approach of Jules Bickers, already deeply unpopular with voluntary sector asylum organisations in the regions he has worked in.

This is yet another indication that we were right to claim that g4s had no experience of asylum housing and that their failures under the contract would constantly punish asylum seeker single people and families who are simply housed awaiting the outcome of asylum claims.

Moreover our fears about the contract fundamentally challenging the basic human rights of families, children and vulnerable asylum seekers seem also to be proving unfortunately to be correct

We have to challenge the UKBA now to cancel the contract with UKBA and extend the target contracts with local authorities and transfer housing associations inYorkshire.

Chaos on the Olympics contract now chaos on the asylum housing contract

G4s are demonstrating exactly the same failings exposed in the Olympics contracts, as one MP put it: ‘their aspirations run far ahead of their abilities’

Their chaotic and incompetent management structures are even more exposed in the asylum housing field – after all in the Olympics contract they were in their key business of events security.

Their incompetence in a field they know nothing about -  housing – is much more serious – here they are embarking on a contract which they know will threaten the rights and well being of up to a thousand vulnerable asylum seekers in Yorkshire, whom we should be welcoming to our region, not punishing and threatening them, using tax payers money – our money.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

'We're guarding you with all our might': G4S' prog-rock company anthem

G4S: more employees than the population of Luxembourg, a company flag, and a theme tune. For a while, we couldn't get hold of the music video - in the context of the Olympic debacle, we reckon G4S didn't want their promotional video adding fuel to the fire. But either it's back, or someone's done well in recreating what it was...

Here's a little selection of the lyrics: 

You love your job and the people too / Making a difference is what you do / But consider all you have at stake / The time is now don't make a mistake  
Because the enemy prowls, wanting to attack / But we're on the wall, we've got your back / So get out front and take the lead / And be the winner you were born to be 
G4S! protecting the world / G4S! so dreams can unfurl / 24/7 every night and day / A warrior stands ready so don't be afraid 
G4S! secure in your world / G4S! let your dreams unfurl 
We're guarding you with all our might / Keeping watch throughout the night...

G4S News Update // 16 - 22nd July

I hope you've all been enjoying the amount of press G4S have been getting over the last few weeks! Here's a little summary of the key stories from the last week:

G4S shares plummet after Olympic contract failures, Reuters, 16th July 2012: After G4S completely cock-up Olympic Security, damage is seen in the stock market. Shares in G4S fell to the lowest level in more than six months.

Nick Buckles' hero is Margaret Thatcher, The Guardian, 17th July 2012: The Guardian comments on the New Statesman's republication of an interview with G4S CEO Nick Buckles. His economic advice for the UK government goes as follows: "To continue to focus on traditional Tory values around encouraging a meritocracy and inspiring value creation." Lovely. 

G4S Olympic Fiasco: the people pipeline, Open Democracy, 17th July 2012: Another excellent piece from Clare Sambrook on the affect of G4S' failures with Olympic security on the army and the police. 

G4S look for new PR manager with 'personal credibility', Political Scrapbook, 18th July 2012: After the complete PR disaster around Olympic security, G4S post an advert on Linkedin for a new PR manager. Ideal candidates will have "personal credibility" and the capacity to work with crisis management…

Nick Buckles admits that Olympic failure was a "humiliating shambles", TIME, 18th July 2012: On the day of Nick Buckles and Ian Horseman Sewell's appearance in front of a Home Affairs Select Committee, news about G4S' security shortfall went global. Coverage was seen in TIME, the Wall Street Journal and even Fox News. 

Ed Miliband states that G4S failure is a "warning sign" for police privatisation, Politics.co.uk, 19th July 2012: Read Ed Miliband's speech in full here. 

Police take over Glasgow security from G4S, The Guardian, 21st July 2012: Strathclyde police said on Friday that they were taking over responsibility for security at Olympic venues in Glasgow due to serious concerns over G4S' capacity to provide sufficient security staff. 

Labour MP Keith Vaz promises to closely monitor the G4S deal with Lincolnshire Police, BBC News, 21st July 2012: This potentially lucrative deal for G4S is set to be closely monitored by the Home Affairs Select Committee. 

G4S planning to monopolise on new outsourcing deals with UK prisons, The Guardian, 22nd July 2012: Despite the Olympic catastrophe, G4S are still bidding for the contracts to manage 5 new prisons, in deals that could amount to more than £2bn. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

No Justice for Jimmy Mubenga: G4S guards will not face charges

Ironically, on the same day that G4S' managing director Nick Buckles and Global Events manager Ian Horseman Sewell faced a Home Affairs Select Committee meeting about their failures to provide sufficient security staff for the Olympics, it has been revealed that neither G4S guards nor the company as a whole will face charges for the death of Jimmy Mubenga 21 months ago. 

Gaon Hart, senior crown advocate in the CPS special crime division, cited "conflicting witness accounts" about the manner of Mubenga's restraint as reasoning for insufficient evidence, despite the fact that the counsel found there was a "breach of duty" in the way Mubenga was held. He continued:
"In light of this, the experts unanimously concluded that given Mr Mubenga's physiological condition, having been in an agitated state before he died, they could not rule out that his death may have been caused by a combination of factors such as adrenalin, muscle exhaustion or isometric exercise.[...] It is not enough to tell a jury what may have caused a person's death; I have to have sufficient evidence that there is a realistic prospect of proving it to them beyond reasonable doubt, and in these circumstances the evidence did not satisfy that test."
Deborah Coles, the co-director of Inquest, a charity that helps to support the families of people who die in custody,  was understandably disappointed by the hearing:
"This is a shameful decision that flies in the face of the evidence about the dangerous use of force used against people being forcibly removed and the knowledge base that existed within G4S and the Home Office about the dangers of restraint techniques. It once again raises concerns about the quality of the investigations into deaths following the use of force by state agents and the decision-making process of the CPS." 
The court did find that there were serious short-comings in G4S' training for their deportation guards, but decided that this did not provide concrete proof that the guards in question - or the company as a whole - could be held responsible for the death of Jimmy Mubenga.

So as the whole country publicly abuses G4S for their inability to provide 13,000 security guards for the Olympic Games, it is worth remembering that the outcry after the death of Jimmy Mubenga was substantially quieter. Whilst G4S no longer hold the contract for forcible deportation, detainees are still at risk from excessive restraint techniques used by guards from another private security company, Reliance Security. Donna Covey, of the Refugee Council, made the following statement:  

“It is concerning that no individual or organisation is being held responsible for the tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga during a removal flight following the CPS’ decision today. Until this happens, the lives of people who continue to be enforcibly removed from the UK by security firms using dangerous restraint techniques remain at risk.
“The excessive use of restraint on detainees is unacceptable, and if enforced removals must be carried out, they must always be done in the safest way possible. The UK has a commitment to protecting people seeking safety in this country, so the UKBA and their sub-contractors must ensure those who have not been found to need protection here are at the very least returned to their home countries unharmed.”

Jimmy Mubenga will be remembered as devoted father and husband who died whilst in the hands of G4S. Whilst the company and the guards may never face charges, history and our memories will always tell a different story.

Monday, 16 July 2012

G4S looking for new PR Manager

As G4S' fall from grace continues to dominate media coverage, it comes as little surprise that they are looking for a new PR manager to help put a lovely glossy sheen on the situation. Advertised on LinkedIn, the new PR Manager will be expected to be confident in "managing incidents in line with company's crisis communications procedure"; a procedure that hasn't seemed too successful over the last few days.

Here, reproduced for your convenience, is the full job advert found at LinkedIn:

Job Description
The PR Manager will be responsible for the following:
Developing and delivering the PR plan and content strategy
Creating and maintaining relationships with key press contacts
Ongoing media handling
Identifying and exploiting forward feature/survey opportunities
Managing incidents in line with company’s crisis communications procedures
Developing and maintaining positioning statements
Establishing and maintaining evidence/case study database
Researching and writing relevant press releases, articles and content
Evaluating the success of the PR programme
Developing relationships with senior management and advising on PR opportunities
Providing media handling advice to senior management and operational personnel

Desired Skills & Experience
Key competencies
Experience in identifying, delivering  and maximising PR opportunities
Knowledge and understanding of the media and how it works is essential, alongside strong communication skills
Ability to establish contacts with relevant media
Proven track record of responding to high level reactive media enquiries
Demonstrable skills in briefing senior spokespeople and case studies for interview
Experience of media relations within a large commercial or public sector organization or within an agency
Drive and enthusiasm to succeed as part of a team
Highly conscientious and self-motivated
Flexible approach to demands of the role
Ability to work quickly under pressure
Personal credibility with key internal and external contacts
Confidence to work with colleagues across all levels of an organization
Confident with dealing with the demands of 24-hour media
Keen awareness of current affairs

Company Description
Do you have a good knowledge and understanding of the media?  Want to be part of a fast paced, dynamic Marketing team within a FTSE 100 organization? G4S, the UK’s leading security company, currently has an exciting opportunity for a PR Manager to join the team based in our Head Office.
Based in Sutton, Surrey, you’ll be responsible for managing Secure Solutions UK’s media programme, focused on protecting and promoting the brand, raising G4S’s profile in the industry and wider market place, and positioning G4S as a thought leader. 
The role will involve developing and delivering all PR-related activities for this diverse and growing business, as well as managing crisis communications effectively, with the aim of supporting business growth, enhancing the company’s reputation and protecting the brand.
Reporting to the Head of Marketing, the role holder will help build and manage the organization’s image and reputation across all media and stakeholder groups, and engage with relevant influencers to meet business objectives. This is a demanding role, which will involve daily contact with media.
If you have experience in identifying, delivering and maximising PR opportunities, and the drive and enthusiasm to succeed as part of a team, then this is an environment in which you will flourish.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Update: Nick Buckles, G4S Security Boss, apologies for Olympic failure

Humiliation does force people into doing some unforeseeable things. After G4S' initial refusal to give a statement  about their security shortages at the Olympic Games, today's press was littered with a flimsy apology from G4S' Security Boss, Nick Buckles. Here's a short extract:
"I began to know it was going wrong eight or nine days ago... Basically we are recruiting a large number of people and they are all working through a process of interview, two or three different degrees of training, licensing and accreditation.[...] It is only when you get closer to the Games, you realise that the number is not as high as you expect."
So, eight or nine days ago, Nick Buckles got wind of the fact that his own company could only provide a fraction of the security guards it was contracted to supply. Eight days ago was the 6th of July - the same day that Ian Horseman Sewell, managing director of G4S Global Events, told Reuters that G4S were gearing up for securing even more mega-contracts with other international events in 2012:
"We are keen to pursue events all over the globe and we do have the scale to do more than one thing at once. We are delivering a London Olympics now [and] I would certainly hope that we will be making at least one announcement in the rest of this year about other major overseas events that we have been successful with."
So either G4S' internal communications are so poor that information about this PR nightmare did not reach their press office in time (despite all their PR work done in house), or G4S' senior staff thought they may be able to crawl their way out of this mess. Unfortunately, no amount of spin or even the attempted coercion of ex-police officers to join their ranks (see this Guardian article) was able to paint over the cracks of this ridiculous affair. In Nick Buckle's own words, "we are very, very disappointed", but we're not surprised.

Nick Buckles, as seen on BBC News (14 July 2012)

A Masterclass in Privatised Security: G4S and the Olympics

The Guardian put the allegations to G4S. A spokesman for the company responded: "We are unable to respond to the specific questions you raise because to do so would involve pulling staff, who are working hard to mobilise the 2012 workforce, off the work they are doing."We will enquire into the claims that are made and we take very seriously any allegation of poor standards on our part."  
The Guardian, 13th July 2012
Although they were originally contracted to provide 2,000 security staff, G4S' new multi-million pound contract with Games provider LOCOG now requires them to provide 13,700 guards over the course of the Olympics. Over the last few days, it has been revealed that - two weeks before the opening ceremony - only 4,000 G4S guards are fully vetted, trained and in place to provide the service. G4S' assurance that a further 9,000 are in the pipeline hasn't convinced the Home Office who have now drafted in Army reserves to fill the gaping whole. A total of 17,000 servicemen will now be involved in Olympic security.

Teresa May assured the Commons that details about G4S' failure to honour the terms of the contract only came to her knowledge on Wednesday (11th July), although it seems as if ministers had been aware about the possibility of calling in extra troops for the past couple of weeks. G4S' own heads may have also been in the sands, with the managing director of G4S Global Events telling Reuters early in the week that "we are keen to pursue events all over the globe and we do have the scale to do more than one thing at once." These "nine-figure aspirations" look set to dissipate under the pressure of criticism from government and media alike.

It's difficult to sift through the pages of reportage that swiftly followed G4S' Olympian fall from grace without a wry smile creeping across my face. We've already found reasons to take issue with G4S' creeping control of public services, but now so has everyone else. 

The idea of a private security army being hired to 'secure' the Olympic Games - in the twisted Orwellian fantasy that is the 2012 London Olympic Games - makes perfect sense. In this hyper-commercialised space, where non-MacDonald chips are only allowed to be served as an accompaniment to fish and 80% of all Olympic visitors expected to be coaxed through the new Westfield shopping centre in Stratford en route to the Olympic Village, we have been given an exclusive preview of what a world run by private companies with 'commercial interests' could become.

Keith Vaz, the Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman, declared that "G4S has let the country down and we have literally had to send in the troops" and stated that all public contracts with G4S should be reviewed and all potential contracts shelved. Another Liberal Democrat MP and member of the public accounts committee, Ian Swales, stated that concerns about G4S' extortionate profit margins had been continually raised in meetings:
"We were really concerned because when the announcement of doubling of the number of security personnel was made we looked at the breakdown of the costs and we saw that the G4S contract was going up from £86 to £284 million, which felt like a colossal amount of money. [...] For these large amounts of money you would expect excellent service so to me this is just compounding a felony, vast sums of money buying a service that is very poor quality." 
Similar concerns have already been voiced by Jeremy Corbyn (Labour) and Dan Rogerson (Liberal Democrat) in Parliament.

G4S' capacity to execute the £284 million pound contract was also put in doubt when aspects of their interview and training processes were revealed by the press. Experienced ex-police officers and prison officers were appalled by the level of incompetence found within G4S' administrative staff, claiming that the company clearly didn't have sufficient staff and methods in place to deal with the sheer quantity of applicants. Many have still not received accreditation, uniform or confirmation of their employment. It is little wonder that G4S' own Facebook page is fast becoming a forum for angry employees.

Future procurement prospects in the policing sector have also been put in doubt. Surrey Police have now shelved plans for police privatisation with G4S' Olympic Security fiasco cited as a reason for delaying the decision. The police authority chairman, Peter Williams, told press that "members agreed today that it is right that we should suspend our involvement at this time and that we should look to withdraw altogether following a more detailed assessment of our options in September."

When the City and Government have become quasi-synonymous, it is hardly surprising that the government is threatening G4S with financial penalties. And even these financial penalties are under question. Whilst LOCOG stated that G4S would be charged for failing to provide the number of staff it promised, a government source - speaking to the Independent - stated that the contract was in fact drawn up on a pro-rata basis, with G4S paid per guard rather than for the whole security contract. However, by Friday (13th July) evening, G4S conceded that it expects to lose between £35 and £50 million for its failure to honour the terms of the contract. Their net market value also dropped by £150 million in the past two days.

Now, history tells us that the governments attraction to G4S's commercial viability has not been dented by charges, scandal or slander. The death of Jimmy Mubenga, potentially being charged with corporate manslaughter, tides of complaints brought against the company by detainees (a record 773 in 2010), rises in prisoner suicides in G4S run prisons, and countless other 'questionable' aspects of G4S' track record have not - so far - been sufficiently considered in government due diligence procedures as reason to reconsider their suitability for new contracts. Despite having their forcible deportation contract cut short in 2011 (after the death of Jimmy Mubenga), G4S have still been awarded multi-million pound asylum housing contracts in Yorkshire, the North East and the Midlands. In the words of one Independent columnist: "In the City, the odd migrant death and PR slip doesn't seem to make a dent on analyst expectations of a public-sector contract bonanza." If 'City' is swiftly accompanied by 'Government', we've hit the nail right on the head.

With the Olympics putting London centre stage, a scandal on this scale cannot be seen to go unpunished. Yet it saddens me that serious issues regarding the safety and protection of asylum seekers in the UK - who have been subject to atrocious G4S service provision for the past few years - have failed to rouse such an indignant roar from the press. This Olympic security catastrophe has given the government a masterclass in the ethos of privatisation: profit before people, and even before product. Lets not make any more mistakes.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Additional News!

  • The prolific John Grayson's latest article "Outsourcing Charity - the G4S way" 
  • Clare Sambrook's latest on G4S at Open Democracy 
  • Good Corporate Watch summary of the G4S/UPM-dumping events at Corporate Watch 
  • A curious and interesting piece on the website of the Sheffield Chilean Community website: the CEO of Target Housing (UPM's replacement) has written an open letter to the Chilean community (he himself is a Chilean refugee) trying to justify Target taking the contract. It's at this website and comments are invited...

Monday, 9 July 2012

G4S News Update // 2nd - 8th July

G4S News Update // 2nd - 8th July

Activists Occupy the Roof of G4S HQ in London, Uk Indymedia, 2nd July 2012: No Borders activists scaled G4S' HQ in Crawley, West Sussex, to conduct a rooftop protests against G4S' involvement in illegal settlements in occupied territories in Palestine. 

Bedfordshire Police Privatisation on Hold Until Police Commissioner Appointment in November, Bedfordshire News, 2nd July 2012: After a lengthy meeting, the Bedfordshire Police Authority postponed decisions about outsourcing 'back-room policing' to G4S until the appointment of a new Police Commissioner in November. The Authority also agreed to explore alternative options of cost-savings within the police service. The next day, G4S' Managing Director of Policing Services was quick to re-iterate G4S' spin on policing privatisation - see this website for an interview with the MD. 

Nottingham City of Sanctuary Report on Destitution Highlights Concerns over new COMPASS contracts, BftF blog, 4th July 2012: CoS' report, titled 'Homelessness and Hope', detailed concerns with the new COMPASS contracts in the region, recently procured by G4S. Amongst other issues, they noted that the new contract costings are substantially lower than previous years, suggesting severe cuts to services. 

G4S Targets Bigger Events After Olympics, Reuters, 6th July 2012: Despite recent revelations about G4S' incompetent provision of security services at the London Olympics, expects to be awarded a bigger share of a four-year cycle of global events whose safety and security budget has been estimated at over $10 billion. 

International Campaign against G4S Gathers Momentum, UK Indymedia, 8th July 2012: Indymedia gives a summary of the last two months of international campaigns against G4S! 

- Birmingham Campaign Against Police Privatisation - Activists in Birmingham are planning to protest against the corporate takeover of policing services in the region on the 12th July. For further information, see the following website

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

G4S News Update // 25th June - 1st July

After a big couple of weeks regarding G4S news, including renewed interest from some major papers, we're back to a few familiar themes...

EVER MORE concerns over G4S Olympic Security, ITV, 27th June 2012: ITV's Keir Simmons on security breaches among hastily-trained security staff at London's Olympic Park

UK police forces mull further privatisation, and G4S control of policing, Reuters, 28th June 2012: The company's seemingly unstoppable infiltration of Britain's police forces continues, with Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces set to follow Lincolnshire's lead

G4S partly to blame for suicide in private prison, The Independent, 29th June 2012: More general incompetence- this time at Parc prison, where inspectors found "chaos and crisis" within the healthcare unit shortly after Shaun Beasley's death, which they said was "foreseeable and preventable"

Monday, 2 July 2012

Activists Occupy the Roof of G4S HQ!

Text c/o Indymedia 

Activists are staging a rooftop occupation at the headquarters of security multinational G4S near Crawley, West Sussex, in protest at what they claim are “illegal and immoral activities” in both the UK and Palestine/Israel.

Early this morning, two activists climbed on top of the multistory building and
secured themselves in place using superglue and bike locks.

Two banners were seen hanging from the edge of the building. One read “G4S – Profiting from: Israeli Apartheid, Prison Slavery, Deadly Deportations”.

Another dozen protesters are surrounding the building on the ground, shouting slogan and holding anti-G4S placards.

G4S provides equipment to prisons inside Israel to which Palestinian political prisoners from occupied territory are transferred in violation of the Geneva Conventions, tortured and subjected to arbitrary detention.

Under Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is forbidden to transfer Palestinian prisoners from occupied territories to prisons inside Israel. Despite this, thousands of Palestinian prisoners are unlawfully held in prisons inside Israel that are supplied by G4S. Palestinian civil society has condemned G4S' complicity with Israeli violations of international law and called for action against the company.

The company provides equipment to the Kishon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities at which human rights organisations have documented systematic torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners. A recent UK government backed delegation found that Israel is breaching at least six violations of the UN convention of the child in its treatment of child detainees.

More than 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners went on a mass hunger strike on 15th April this year. Mahmoud Sarsak ended his 92-day hunger strike on June 18 and is due to be released on 10 July, but three others remain on hunger strike in protest against their detention without trial.[4] G4S also provides equipment to Israeli in the West Bank that form part of the route of Israel’s illegal Wall and to illegal settlements.

In the UK, G4S runs six private prisons at which 400 prisoners are forced to work 40 hours a week for as little as £2 a day.

The company also runs three immigration detention centres, where detainees have made repeated claims of abuse and assault.

Last year the company lost a multi-million contract with the UK Border Agency to deport refused migrants after 773 complaints of abuse were made against it and following the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan asylum seeker who died as a result of G4S security guards applying illegal restraint techniques.

Despite all this, G4S is being awarded a wide range of public service contracts, from taking over police forces and providing controversial workfare schemes and asylum accommodation on behalf of the government to providing all security at the London Olympics.

Today's protest is the latest in a new, international campaign against the controversial company. On 7th June, more than 70 people demonstrated outside the G4S Annual General Meeting and handed shareholders an “Alternative Annual Report” detailing the company's alleged violations of human rights and international law.

One of the rooftop protesters, Tom Hayes from the Boycott Israel Network, said: “UK businesses should not be profiting from the detention and mistreatment of children.”

“Brutal systems of discrimination such as Israeli Apartheid are maintained because companies like G4S are willing to do business with them, in total disregard of the human consequences and of international law. G4S is an example of a business that cynically views the practices of such regimes as good for business.”

“Action much be taken to prevent corporate complicity with Israeli violations of international law.”

The other protester, Sean Flint from No Borders UK, said:

“I wonder how many Jimmy Mubengas it will take to realise that companies like G4S don't care about people placed in their care, but are only concerned with maximising their profits, no matter what the human cost.”

“Awarding control of the police, justice and prison systems to a company with such a blatant disregard for basic human rights, as the government has shown its willingness to do, is truly frightening.”

Activists will picket the 12 July meeting of the West Midlands Police Authority. G4S is bidding for a £1.5bn contract to run Police services in the West Midlands and Surrey. 

Stop G4S policing the West Midlands

Human Rights First! Stop the Corporate takeover of Policing services
Join the lobby of West Midlands Police Authority
At 10am on Thursday 12th July outside West Midlands Police HQ, Lloyd House in Birmingham City Centre.
Learn more about the West Midlands Against Policing for Profit campaign here
On 12th July West Midlands Police Authority will meet to discuss how to take forward the privatisation programme of critical police services worth £1.5bn. West Midlands against Policing for Profit is opposed to this privatisation in principle and calls for the tendering to be cancelled.
The shortlisted companies include corporate giants KBR and G4S who between them have questionable human and labour rights records from Guantanamo Bay to Iraq, from Occupied Palestine and to the treatment of asylum seekers in the UK.
If the procurement process continues after 12th July we are calling on the Police Authority to give full consideration to the human rights records of the companies bidding for the BPP contract.  It can exclude companies from tendering on grounds of ‘grave professional misconduct’.  We are calling on the Police Authority to rigorously examine the human rights records of these companies.
KBR, is a former subsidiary of Halliburton, and has had extensive contracts from the US Government to provide services to support the military occupation of Iraq. KBR’s subcontractors have allegedly engaged in human trafficking and the use forced labour to provide services for KBR in Iraq.
KBR is one of the companies that built the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The facility at Guantanamo was not only used to detain people without trial and to carry out interrogations with torture, the site itself was built in a manner designed to dehumanise and terrorise those held there.
In the UK, G4S has been the subject of 700 complaints over the treatment of asylum detainees of which 130 were upheld.  G4S has been implicated in the deaths of a number of asylum seekers in its custody; in 2010 G4S lost a Home Office forcible deportation contract after the death of an Angolan deportee, Jimmy Mubenga, while being restrained on a flight back home. See the rest of this blog for further information on G4S' shady human rights record. 
G4S is also the subject of a global call for action by Palestinian civil society on the grounds it ‘helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.’
West Midlands Against Policing for Profit is asking people to support the lobby  to oppose the corporations  bidding to run these critical policing services.
Human Rights First! Stop KBR! Stop G4S! Keep up to date with campaign developments here