Despite almost 1,500 complaints against them regarding their immigration detention tactics since December 2008, over 700 of them in 2010 alone including 48 of assault, Group 4 Securicor, or G4S, are still somehow able to bid for asylum housing contracts all over the UK. Here’s a list of where their ‘consultations’ are taking place in the next few days, and if you can get to one, then do it!!
Remember Jimmy Mubenga? He was the guy who died at their hands whilst being deported last year, and still his family wait for justice.
And the Aboriginal Elder Mr Ward, who cooked to death in the back of one of their vans in 2008?
Then there’s the abuse of Cardiff resident Suren Khachatryan. . .and the list goes on.
Today, the G4S Cardiff consultation was disrupted and this statement read out. . .
‘Group 4 are currently the largest private security force in the world, boasting over 600,000 employees and 125 countries calling them loyal customers, but don’t let that fool you. Group 4 has a history of violence and a callous disregard for human life and liberty. From abusing worker’s rights in Indonesia to murdering asylum-seekers in flight, this company should not be allowed to detain, transport or house vulnerable people.
Allowing Group 4 to run asylum housing would represent a major setback in providing high quality housing for asylum-seekers, like detention and deportation before it, Group 4 have repeatedly shown themselves to be highly inappropriate in this field. Group 4 currently runs immigration removal centres, escorts people back to dangerous countries and facilitates the movement of asylum-seekers between detention centres. In each of these fields, Group 4 has had substantial allegations against them, from racism to deaths in care.
As the report from Medical Foundation in 2008 stated:- (and as reported on Diane Abbot MP’s website)
‘The methods of restraint or assault described by detainees include: being dragged along the ground, being kicked or kneed, being punched-including to the head and face, being elbowed, having the thumb forcibly bent back, pressure being applied to the angle of the jaw, pressure being exerted on the neck’
This refers the the compiled 35 cases of abuse against Group 4 and Loss Prevention International during removal of asylum-seekers.
A second more shocking example is Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga, who in October 2010 died at the hands of Group 4 staff on a deportation flight. He was suffocated as he tried to complain about being returned against his will. As before, the staff have not been prosecuted or even sacked?
These incidents are part of a wider case of over 300 cases prepared by Asylum Justice involving Group 4 staff. These incidents highlight the racist, inappropriate and poorly trained behaviour of an unaccountable global private army.
A House of Lords report in 2010 by Baroness O’Loan stated that there was inadequate management of the use of force by the private sector companies. Of the 29 cases of alleged abuse which she was able to review, she found two thirds of complaints had not been properly investigated or not investigated at all. Again this included Cardiff resident Suren Khachatryan. Complaints about this serious assault were made to police and the Home Office, but no further action was taken! The House of Lords report admits that this was an inadequate investigation of a complaint by a man who had suffered serious injury. And yet, to date, no further action has been taken to prosecute those officials responsible.
HOW CAN WE EXPECT TO ENTRUST THE DAY-TO-DAY LIVING AND WELLBEING OF VULNERABLE PEOPLE TO SUCH COMPANIES? ONE WITH SUCH A RECORD OF VIOLENCE? WITH SUCH A RECORD OF UNACCOUNTABILITY?
On a global level, Group 4 does not diminish this reputation. They run immigration-based services across the world, most notably in Australia where they run ALL of the refugee centres. In 2000, the Victorial coroner found that Group 4 and the state government had directly contributed to the deaths of five people at Port Phillip Prison, which Group 4 operates. Also in 2009, Group 4 killed an Aboriginal man being transported in a van without water or air-conditioning. And in the UK since 1995, Group 4 have had private riot squads to deal with disorder in immigration removal centres.
In 2002, Group 4 were forced by media attention to withdraw security guards from their subsidiary in Hashmira, which operates in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. It was revealed that many of the security guards were settlers.
Group 4 also manages and runs a private prison in South Africa, adding up to the image not of a global security company, but of a global private army. This sort of company are not social landlords. They are not social workers. They are a huge company concerned with security and profit with a record of brutality and violence. We do not need them in our communities. We do not want them on our streets.
‘NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE, GROUP 4 OFF OUR STREETS’ ‘
They sat and listened, though probably only because there was a camera filming everything, and obviously they tried to discredit the statement. They also mentioned something about having different houses than those currently being used to home asylum-seekers, which points to more upheaval. It’s imperative that they don’t win these tenders!!
I’m sure there’s more info to come from this meeting today, but I, along with some other seemingly equally disgusted folks, left, as listening to their fucked up corporate bollocks made too many bits of sick come in my mouth.