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Keep G4S Out of Your House

Action Date: 

01 November 2015 to 31 December 2019

G4S profits from repression and abuse. It may be making money out of you by reading your energy meter. Don't let it.

G4S has been linked to human rights abuses around the world, including Palestine and Britain.

G4S staff were filmed assaulting and verbally abusing children at Medway Secure Training Centre, a young offenders institution in Kent. The footage was broadcast on the BBC's Panorama programme on 11 January 2015.

Nigerian asylum-seeker Jimmy Mubenga was killed in 2010 as a result of being restrained on board an aircraft at Heathrow by G4S staff. The July 2013 inquest into his death concluded that he had been killed unlawfully, but in December 2014 an Old Bailey jury cleared the G4S guards of manslaughter charges. A former flight attendant is now suing G4S over the post-traumatic stress disorder she says she suffered after witnessing Jimmy Mubenga's death.

"As security company G4S has grown, it has expanded the range of services it provides. Transporting cash and guarding private property remain two of the biggest parts of its business but it also helps other companies investigate insurance claims and read gas meters, among other things. Most controversially, it has become one of the biggest outsourcing companies in the world. It runs prisons, policing and welfare programmes, and other previously-public services for governments worldwide. The company has earned intense criticism for a litany of misdeeds including cost-cutting, over-charging, negligence and brutality." - Corporate Watch.

Amazingly, G4S has been given a government contract to run a helpline that used to be run by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

G4S managed Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre from 2006 to 2011. Dungavel is currently run by Geo Group, who run private jails in the US. G4S continues its UK-wide role in providing housing for asylum-seekers - a completely inappropriate role for a company that also runs prisons

Pressure works! In December 2016 G4S announced that it had reached agreement on the sale of G4S Israel. This ends G4S's role in securing Israel’s prison system and military checkpoints. The move is clearly the result of the international campaign against G4S spearheaded by the Palestine BDS Committee that saw unions, councils, universities and private companies in countries from Lebanon to Brazil, from the UK to Norway, boycott the company. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Methodist Church and several UN agencies in Jordan have divested or ended contracts with G4S.

G4S continues to help Israel run a police training centre and to be invested in a company that builds illegal settlements, so our boycott campaign continues. But this latest massive exit of G4S from the Israeli economy shows how significant our movement has become.

The income and the economic and political clout of G4S are enhanced by its involvement in "soft security" and in forms of people-management that don't have an obvious security element. For example, G4S provides meter readers for many energy companies.

Changing your energy supplier is a simple way to help stop G4S. If you do so, take another moment to tell your old supplier why they have lost your business.

Besides changing your household energy provider to one that doesn't use G4S, you could also ask your workplace or any organisation or institution that you are involved with to make a similar change. Organisations with a particular commitment to ethical conduct might be expected to be especially open to such a request.

Energy companies that do not use G4S include Good Energy,  Cooperative Energy and Ovo Energy.

Some energy companies that claim to take an environmentally-friendly approach to their business apparently do not attach much weight to human rights concerns and continue to use G4S.

Companies that unexpectedly do use G4S include Ecotricity. In August 2014 Ecotricity promised to drop G4S, but it subsequently renewed its contract with G4S for 4 more years.

If you take your business away from Ecotricity, or if you are inclined to give your business to them but choose not to do so on human rights grounds, tell Ecotricity about it.

More about G4S

 Image: Corporate Watch. Some rights reserved.