G4S   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The Tories have handed the contract for the government’s Equality Advisory and Support Service discrimination helpline to notorious privatisers G4S. Sue Powell takes a look at the outsourcers’ record…

Imagine the job description.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service helps people facing human rights issues or dis-crimination on the grounds of disability, race, gender and other forms of discrimination.

For example, supporting people denied housing or made redundant due to race, sexual orientation, age or disability. We seek a trustworthy, supportive and understanding manager to run our helpline at a time when hate crime is increasing.

And now, the successful applicant’s CV…


  • 1901 – Predecessor private security firm founded in Denmark.
  • 1991 – Started running the UK’s first privatised prison.
  • 1998 – Began operating the UK’s privatised children’s prisons or ‘secure training centres’.
  • 2004 – A ‘restrained’ 15-year-old died in one of our prisons.
  • 2007-10 – Claimed parking fines as business expenses to avoid £580,000 in corporation tax.
  • 2010 – Unlawfully killed a father of five during deportation from UK. Our military wing was criticised by the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee and the UN watchdog Global Policy Forum.
  • 2012 – Senate and UN criticise us again.

Meanwhile, in Israel-Palestine, helped the Israeli state run several detention centres for Palestinians, and provided police HQ with security equipment. The Guardian reported that Cell 36 at al-Jalameh prison holds children.

Cashed in on Canada’s asylum crackdown.

Part of the UK Olympics security fiasco.

  • 2014 – Saw out a mass hunger strike of jailed Palestinians.

Investigated by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and criticised in parliament for charging for electronic tags on released and deceased offenders.

  • 2014 – Sold our subsidiary which had been providing ‘cleaning and facilities’ services at Guantánamo Bay.

Found to use disciplinary techniques in our prisons including tipping a pregnant woman’s wheelchair while holding her feet.

  • 2015 – Had to sack at least six members of staff at a young offenders’ facility after they attracted too much heat. Ofsted reported drug use while on duty, racism and humiliation of children.

Accused of torturing South African prisoners.

Our police control room made bogus 999 calls to hit targets.

Our patient transport service in Kent left a dialysis patient stranded for hours.

  • 2016 – Lost our appeal over tax avoidance.
Skills – Corner-cutting, over-charging, under-training, worker exploitation, negligence, racism, brutality.
Referees – UK government (estimated £4 billion of contracts by 2012), other governments looking to privatise anything all over the planet