You are not imagining it. The G4S logo really is popping up all over the place — in your local supermarket, on your local street, on police uniforms if you happen live in the English county of Lincolnshire.
And it’s all over the London Olympics, where 25,000 security people will be working under G4S control. The company’s bill, £300 million. (That’s right: £300 million).
The world’s biggest security company, G4S operates in 125 countries. Slogan: Securing Your World.
It’s based in Britain, where it is fast taking over vital public services. . . in policing, running prisons and children’s homes, dominating “asylum markets”, training magistrates, assessing welfare claimants, building and running hospitals and schools. It’s a very big player in the Private Finance Initiative.
G4S is installing smart meters in our homes, guarding our supermarkets, supplying number-plate recognition technology to retailers, the police and the military, performing covert surveillance for insurance companies.
In so many ways G4S is watching us.
Since early 2010 OurKingdom has been watching G4S, shining a light on this company’s extraordinary progress and its cosy relations with government.
Growing from our reporting on the scandal of child immigration detention here in the UK, OurKingdom’s award-winning reporting and analysis has been followed by, among others, the BBC, The Times, The Guardian and the New York Times.
We have explored human rights abuses and child protection failings. And revisited the horrible death of Mr Ward, the Aboriginal Elder cooked to death in G4S’s care, whose case casts doubt upon often-unchallenged assumptions about the virtues of privatisation.
Emmeline Plews , 18 July 2012
This year’s undergraduate winner of the John Howard Essay Prize 2012 challenges some often unquestioned assumptions that are driving the for-profit takeover of our child prisons.
Clare Sambrook , 17 July 2012
Multi-millionaire government ministers, close to G4S chief executive Nick Buckles, are a world away from weary soldiers drafted in to rescue the Olympics
Clare Sambrook , 16 July 2012
The appalling Rochdale sexual abuse scandal prompted long-overdue scrutiny of our children’s homes. Another national disgrace ripe for exposure is the UK Border Agency’s serial and repugnant oppression and abuse of vulnerable children over more than a decade. Today OurKingdom publishes Clare Sambrook’s exposé of the Border Agency’s abuse of children and its relentless misrepresentation of evidence of harm. We call upon Parliament to hold ministers, the Home Office and its ugly agency to account. (The material that follows is distressing.)
Tony Curzon Price , 14 July 2012
Nick Buckles, CEO of G4S, was not the speech-and-thought-challenged buffoon he appeared to be on his mea-not-so-culpa interview on the BBC’s flagship Today program. Indeed, the story seems much more interesting than that
Jo Jones , 14 July 2012
West Midlands against Policing for Profit is a group aiming to prevent the privatisation of the West Midlands and Surrey Police Forces by corporations with dubious human rights records. Activist Jo Jones writes on the latest news regarding these takeovers in the wake of the G4S failure to provide Olympic security.
Clare Sambrook , 12 July 2012
As G4S and Serco, both accused of human rights abuses, bid for a contract tendered by two English police authorities, protestors rally to pressure the West Midlands Police Authority to reject the bids on grounds of ‘grave misconduct’.
Clare Sambrook , 10 July 2012
- It’s no joke — the world’s biggest security company is training immigration staff in “Keeping Children Safe”.
- • G4S “invited” to delivery training without competition.
- • UK Border Agency executives “delighted” and “couldn’t have been more complimentary”.
- • G4S has record of harming children and adults in its care.
John Grayson , 28 June 2012
The security firm G4S has spread its tentacles far and wide in the UK. Now it is extending its reach into charity, after it signed a contract with a charitable housing association in Yorkshire. Where next?
John Grayson , 20 June 2012
Campaigning works, say Yorkshire groups, as G4S forced to drop private landlord UPM from asylum-housing contract.
Clare Sambrook , 15 June 2012
Cracks show in ‘compassionate approach’ to locking up children for the sake of administrative convenience.
Hilary Aked , 8 June 2012
More than 70 people demonstrated outside the G4S Annual General Meeting in London yesterday to protest against the security company’s human rights record in various business sectors, from Israeli prisons to “asylum markets” in the UK. Protesters told Hilary Aked why they were there.
Esme Madill , 1 June 2012
One arm of the state, the NHS, saves Roseline Akhalu’s life. Another, the UK Border Agency, threatens to end it.
John Grayson , 30 May 2012
The UK Border Agency gave a £30 million contract for housing asylum seekers to G4S, the world’s biggest security company. Now vulnerable people are losing their homes.
Adri Nieuwhof , 10 May 2012
The world’s biggest security company, fast devouring UK public services — police, justice, health, asylum housing, is complicit in Israeli human rights abuses
Clare Sambrook , 14 April 2012
The end of the British Bobby? Is policing by corporate power replacing policing by consent? Clare Sambrook exposes the insidious first steps of G4S, the world’s largest security company, as it moves in on the police force of Lincolnshire (Margaret Thatcher’s home county).
John Grayson , 12 April 2012
A Yorkshire campaign deploys rigorous research to expose and resist the astonishing corporate takeover of Britain’s ‘asylum seeker markets’
John Grayson , 9 March 2012
As an increasingly denigrated category of people who ‘should not be here’, asylum seekers are among the first to experience the privatisation of state security in the UK. They won’t be the last.
Mel Kelly , 6 March 2012
Police privatisation is one part of a bigger story in the UK. With precious little public scrutiny the world’s largest security company has gained astonishing influence over our government and our lives
John Grayson , 28 February 2012
The world’s biggest security company is about to be handed contracts to run asylum seeker housing throughout England’s North East, Yorkshire and Humberside.
Clare Sambrook , 14 February 2012
The Home Office claims all immigration custody officers now carry anti-ligature knives — after years of urging by HM Inspector of Prisons
John Grayson , 8 February 2012
The UK Border Agency invites the company that killed Jimmy Mubenga to manage housing for vulnerable asylum seekers
Clare Sambrook , 7 July 2011
Private contractors are “out of control” and Amnesty International calls for a complete overhaul of UK immigration removals
Clare Sambrook , 6 July 2011
Children are being routinely detained by inadequately-trained staff for long periods in immigration lock-ups at Heathrow Airport. This is despite the British government’s claims to have ended child detention for immigration purposes
Clare Sambrook , 22 June 2011
The Private Finance Initiative has recklessly transferred billions from UK taxpayers to private financiers. Now we’re nicely asking for a little bit of our money back
Clare Sambrook , 8 June 2011
The horrible death of a respected Aboriginal elder casts doubt upon often-unchallenged assumptions about the virtues of privatisation.
Clare Sambrook , 13 September 2010
The Liberal Democrats must fight to salvage their promise to end the detention of children for immigration purposes in the UK.
Clare Sambrook , 13 April 2010
The rapid rise of the security industry with its close links to government has disturbing implications for our freedom.