A security company that has faced hundreds of complaints over its treatment of failed asylum-seekers is set to get the go-ahead to find housing for refugees.
G4S is in line to clinch UK Border Agency (UKBA) contracts to provide refugee housing in the East of the England, the Midlands, the North East and Yorkshire. Serco, which runs two immigration removal centres, is also likely to gain responsibility for the North-West and Scotland.
Campaigners protested that refugees would be alarmed by their accommodation being supplied by companies most associated with locking them up. In a joint letter, 28 academics from Yorkshire and the North-East warned asylum-seekers would feel "intimidated and threatened by the prospect of prison guard companies being installed as their managing landlords".
A G4S spokeswoman said it would deliver the accommodation "entirely through a supply-chain of experienced housing providers, which includes local private and voluntary sector housing organisations". Serco said it would serve those in its care with "respect, efficiency and professionalism".