Security firm accused of abusing deportees sacked

A private security company at the centre of a police investigation into the death of a 46-year-old Angolan asylum seeker has failed to retain its contract with the Home Office.

G4S, which for five years has been the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) leading immigration escort company, is to be replaced by another private contractor, Reliance Security Task Management. Guards working for G4S have been accused of the abuse of dozens of asylum seekers during forced removals from the UK.

Earlier this month, Scotland Yard arrested three G4S staff involved in the deportation of Jimmy Mubenga, who collapsed and died while being escorted on a on BA flight 77 from Heathrow airport in London. His death and many other serious allegations of excessive force have led to calls for G4S to be fully investigated.

British pilots have also given eye-witness accounts of the ill-treatment of asylum seekers by security guards during deportation flights. Several reports were made to an airline industry website in response to Mr Mubenga's death.

In one case, not Mr Mubenga's, a pilot describes how guards stamped on a man's head while forcing him into his seat. Writing on the Professional Pilots Rumour Network site, the captain said: "I think the government agencies on that day exceeded the boundaries acceptable on commercial flights and (irrespective of the depo's [deportee's] crimes) infringed the law of the land and the rights of the individual."

Last year lawyers and voluntary groups published a dossier of 300 cases alleging systemic abuse of deportees, many of them involving G4S employees. In her investigation of those claims, Dame Nuala O'Loan, a former ombudsman of the police force of Northern Ireland, criticised the UKBA for failing to investigate complaints of abusive treatment properly.

Three cases involved serious injuries, which included a punctured lung, a broken finger and a dislocated knee. O'Loan said that the private security companies involved had failed to properly manage the use of violent restraint techniques by their staff. In particular, staff in some cases had failed to consider whether the use of force was "proportionate and necessary".

However, she dismissed a claim of "systemic abuse", saying that there was no pattern of inappropriate force by any individual.

Emma Ginn, of the charity Medical Justice, said: "Whether UKBA dumping G4S in favour of Reliance will make deportees safer depends crucially on the terms of the new contract ... There needs to be a review of force techniques allowed, training in their use, and the appropriateness of their application. The conclusions of the review need to be made public."

David Wood, strategic director for the Criminality and Detention Group at the UKBA, said: "We can confirm that Reliance Security Task Management Limited has won the tender to provide escort services both in-country and overseas on behalf of the UK Border Agency.

"Throughout the comprehensive tendering process, which began in September 2009, Reliance has demonstrated an ability to provide excellent service and its bid offers the best value for money."

A UKBA spokesman added that that the decision to give the G4S contract to another bidder was taken on 12 August and had nothing to do with the Jimmy Mubenga case. He said the contract was reviewed every four years.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam