After the death of a deportee and other controversies, the Home Office has decided to award the lucrative deportation contract to another firm (though G4S claimed the award was to do with the price of its bid):
The company that will now deport detainees from next year, Reliance Security Task Management Limited, already manages several contracts for the Prison Service.
Three G4S guards were released on bail this month after being questioned over the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan who collapsed and died on BA flight 77 as it was preparing to depart for Luanda. G4S said it had received assurances that the failure to renew its contract was related to the price of its bid “and not to recent events”.
The question is will anything change though? G4S had been using controversial measures for years without much problem:
The performance of G4S guards has been questioned for several years. A document obtained by the Guardian reveals the Home Office warned G4S in 2006 that restraint techniques used by its guards potentially impeded breathing and could result in a fatality.
The letter, headed “positional asphyxia” – a form of suffocation caused when people are placed in dangerous restraint holds – was circulated to all G4S staff in 2006 after guards were spotted using an unauthorised form of restraint.
Let us hope the change in contract results in an increase in scrutiny. Deporting people is never going to be problem free, but this was clearly unacceptable.
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