G4S detention facility at centre of shocking abuse scandal 'was making significant profits'

Brook House alleged to be making far more than government contracts allowed

Will Worley
Thursday 14 September 2017 10:31 BST
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Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, next to Gatwick airport in West Sussex
Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, next to Gatwick airport in West Sussex (PA)

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The immigration detention centre at the centre of an abuse scandal has been making large profits for operator G4S, it has been suggested.

The profit level, reportedly in excess of what was agreed with the Home Office, has caused concern among MPs.

G4S has denied the claims, which came a day before company chiefs were due to be questioned by the Home Affairs Select Committee over the scandal.

Nine G4S staff employed at Brook House were suspended after footage was broadcast by BBC Panorama apparently showing personnel abusing and attacking detainees. Bullying and drug abuse were also rife, it was alleged.

The facility made the company £2.4m in pre-tax profits in 2013, the BBC reported, citing internal company documents. The figure amounts to a pre-tax profit of just under 20 per cent.

An initial limit on G4S profits on its immigration removal centres, agreed in 2009, was just 6.8 per cent, The Guardian reported.

G4S also reportedly made significant profits between 2009 and 2016.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, told the broadcaster the reported profits raised “serious questions”.

"Clearly it would be unacceptable for a private company to be making excessive profits out of a contract where there appears to have been abuse taking place," she said.

Reverend Nathan Ward, former duty director at Brook House, said profits of around 20 per cent were declared by G4S for the facility in 2014.

He said the money was "far in excess of what was meant to be made".

A G4S spokesperson said: “The profits quoted are significantly overstated and are based on incomplete information. The Home Office has full access to financial information regarding the contract performance.

"Efficiency improvements identified throughout the life of the contract are agreed with the Home Office and the relevant price reductions applied. Substantial savings have been passed on to the Home Office over the life of the Brook House contract.”

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