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.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Criminal Damage

Criminal Damage?

Our local non-emergency ambulances proudly display their allegiances as they drive by.  The G4S logo trumps the NHS in the statement emblazoned on the sides ‘G4S working in partnership with the NHS’.  This partnership has resulted in the death of a double amputee when his unsecured wheelchair tipped over backwards as he was being transported to hospital in an ambulance operated by G4S.
The employees had not been properly trained.   Private firms have a history of saving on training and G4S certainly has form in this department.  Their ‘just in time’ procedures left many Olympic guards waiting to be trained two weeks before the Olympics.
So when I see the logo on the local ambulances I feel aggrieved.  I pay taxes for a National Health Service, accountable and transparent, not for a service run by what I believe is a serial violator of human rights and international law which stints on training, the better to profit from a public service.

Worth posting a few stickers on the ambulance when the chance occurs.
 First time I visited the local hospital and spied the waiting ambulances it was fine.  The second time I was seen by the driver who proudly sports the G4S logo on his chest.  In true Ragged Trousered Philanthropist tradition, he shouted after me and shook his fist. My husband responded with a friendly wave and smile.  While my husband was waiting in the outpatients for me to complete my treatment, a furious driver and manager came in to berate him.  He was not intimidated and  very loudly, so that all in the outpatients could hear, he gave them a short expose of the company they were defending, including the fact that it had been responsible for the death of a patient through lack of staff training. The manager stated that they were not interested and if we were caught again we would be reported to the police for criminal damage.
So now we know.  The company is uninterested in its shortcomings and only worried that it will be publicly challenged.  The question arises as to who is guilty of criminality?