Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/708/14109
Cops and big business robbers
The writer Neville Shute advised a young American from the southern states that the safest place to evade racial attack and abuse in England was a police station. This was never a very convincing assertion but with the G4S 'security' company becoming the first firm to run a police station it may become even less so.
G4S has controversially been given a £200 million deal to build and run a police station in Lincolnshire. But what are its credentials for this contract?
Jimmy Mubenga was "restrained" by G4S officers while being deported in 2010 and died as a result. Gareth Myett, a 15 year old, died in G4S custody in 2004.
Even the Home Office seems to have noticed a problem here and reportedly "warned" G4S about their dangerous methods of restraint. However the warning must have fallen on deaf ears because it came in 2006, between the two deaths.
Campaigners in Australia believe G4S should stand trial for murder over the death of an aboriginal elder, Mr Ward. Instead the G4S employee responsible was merely fined. Mr Ward died while being transported in a stifling prison van at a temperature of 55 degrees. You can see how G4S puts health and safety at the top of their agenda!
Privatisation of policing is even opposed by the Police Federation who have not previously been in the forefront of campaigns against deaths in custody. They can see that a privatised police service "may not have the same level of public duty and dedication as current police force staff".
Privatised police stations, schools and hospitals. The pattern is clear enough. Unfortunately the coalition points to the Labour Party as the originators of their most odious policies. A party of the working class would oppose this.
The £200 million contract G4S has for a Lincolnshire police station now looks like just small change compared to the police bounty now on offer to big business.
As reported in the Guardian, the Con-Dems are looking to outsource all parts of the police that "can be legally delegated to the private sector". Almost everything but the power to arrest could be privatised.
West Midlands and Surrey police have already invited firms, including G4S, to bid for a contract worth £1.5 billion, which could rise to £4.5 billion if other police forces join in.
Parts of some police forces - 'backroom' and 'front desk' services - have already been outsourced. Avon and Somerset police's contract with IBM was such a disaster parts of it were taken back in house.
The Home Office has defied the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to publish the 'business case' for police privatisation.
In The Socialist 7 March 2012:
Fighting the government's attacks
International Women's Day
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis