G4S bids for asylum housing contract
G4S, the global security services company, is bidding to provide accommodation and services for asylum seekers across the UK. They have invited interested parties to talk to them about the proposals at a series of events.
The contract is worth £135.5 million a year in total, broken down into six regions with several companies and local authorities bidding against each other in each region. The Home Office is looking to make savings, with the budget reduced by 17% on last year. Thirteen Local Authority contracts have been axed, and companies like G4S are moving in to undercut public services, something they are adept at, generally at the expense of those receiving the services.
G4S already has contracts worth £4.6bn with four government departments, including the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. It runs three immigration detention centres at Brook House, Tinsley House and Dungavel, is soon to start running a new family detention centre with children’s charity Barnados, and has the contract to transport asylum seekers between detention centres.
In 2010 there were a record 773 complaints lodged against G4S by detainees, including 48 claims of assault. Unsurprisingly, most of the complaints were found by G4S to be unsubstantiated, but three complaints of assault and two of racism were upheld. As is the way with massive multinationals, corporate responsibility is never likely to reach the top. But maltreatment of detainees is not the worst of G4S.
The company is currently implicated in the death last year of Jimmy Mubenga at the hands of three of their deportation guards, and for the death of Aboriginal Elder, Mr Ward, baked to death in a prisoner transport van in Australia . These are just two of many serious incidents including of deaths, child suicide attempts and serious abuse, but G4S, the government’s “untouchable friend” seems unstoppable in securing ever more public contracts.
The company has begun a series of consultation events, and invites people to come and talk with them. If you would like to put any questions to G4S, see the schedule of meetings and contact details below. Perhaps you may like to ask that, given their record in detention centres, deportation and transportation deaths, does G4S really think it is an appropriate provider of housing and support services for vulnerable people seeking sanctuary?
If you can’t make it to one of the events, you can email G4S at: email@example.com or phone them on 01365 858585.
London and Manchester events have already been run, but the schedule continues as follows:
Midlands & East of England – Solihull
Monday 4 July, 10.30am – 12.30pm
De Limesi Suite One – Holiday Inn, 61 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 3QP
Wales – Cardiff
Tuesday 5 July 2011 , 10.30am – 12.30pm
Prince of Wales Suite – Park Inn, North Circle Way East, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, CF23 9XF
Scotland & Northern Ireland – Glasgow
Wednesday 6 July 2011, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Kyles Site – Menzies Hotel, 27 Washington Street, Glasgow, G3 8AZ
NorthEast, Yorkshire and The Humber – Leeds
Friday 8 July 2011, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Inspiration Suite 2, Village Hotel Leeds North, 186 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS16 5PR