Update Statement by G4S on Medway STC

medwaystcG4S Children’s Services

 Update regarding Medway Secure Training Centre

Having seen the evidence in the BBC Panorama programme we can confirm that we are taking the following action:

 –      Four of the staff suspended on December 30th will have their employment with G4S terminated with immediate effect

–       Three other staff identified in the allegations will remain on suspension pending further investigation

–       One additional person has been removed from operational duty pending further investigation

We have requested copies of all of the evidence collected by BBC Panorama in order for us to conduct a thorough investigation and take the appropriate action.

Commenting after the broadcast of the BBC’s Panorama programme regarding Medway Secure Training Centre, Paul Cook, G4S Managing Director of G4S Children’s Services said:

“We are appalled by the behaviour of certain members of staff at Medway Secure Training Centre shown in the programme and I would like to apologise personally to any young people involved in these incidents.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Medway STC is a 76-bed facility for young offenders (aged between 12 and 18) in Kent in the South East of England.  The centre has been managed by G4S in close co-operation with the YJB since it opened in 1998.  In the most recent Osfted led inspection, the centre was classified as “good with outstanding features” and was recently awarded the Restorative Justice Quality mark in recognition of the positive work undertaken with young people within the centre.  Education attainment levels are high with 265 entry level GCSE certificates achieved by trainees last year and over 80% of young people leaving the centre with educational accreditation.

G4S works closely with the YJB to ensure the best possible care for the young people at the centre.  There is a YJB performance monitor based permanently at the centre, on site NHS healthcare professionals and an independent advocacy  service for young people at the centre provided by Barnado’s, a leading UK children’s charity.

About G4S

G4S is the leading global security company, specialising in the provision of security services and solutions to customers. Our mission is to create material, sustainable value for our customers and shareholders by being the supply partner of choice in all of our markets.

G4S is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and has a secondary stock exchange listing in Copenhagen. G4S is active in over 100 countries and has 611,000 employees.

Seven G4S Officers Suspended at Young Offender Institution After Secret Filming

medwaystcSeven members of staff at a facility for young offenders run by security group G4S have been suspended amid allegations of abuse and mistreatment of youngsters.

Police in Kent are also understood to have been alerted to the claims of “unnecessary use of force and the use of improper language” at Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester.

It has been reported that staff punched and slapped some teenagers held at the facility and also allegedly boasted about using inappropriate techniques to restrain youngsters.

The centre, managed by G4S in co-operation with the Youth Justice Board since it opened in 1998, is a 76-bed facility for young offenders aged from 12 to 18.

The suspensions announced by G4S come after undercover filming by the BBC’s Panorama programme, which has yet to be aired.

The Times reported that it is alleged staff punched a youngster in the ribs and another was slapped several times on the head.

Staff were also alleged to have pressed heavily on the necks of young people, and staff tried to hide their actions by ensuring they were beneath CCTV cameras or in areas not covered by them.

G4S said it has referred the “serious allegations of inappropriate staff conduct” to Medway’s local authority designated officer, the YJB and the Ministry of Justice as Kent Police confirmed it was investigating.

Paul Cook, managing director of G4S children’s services in the UK, said: “I’m extremely shocked and appalled at the allegations that were presented to us, which clearly have no place in our business or any institution responsible for looking after young people.

“We received the allegations from Panorama to our press team on December 30, and all I have are written allegations at this time.”

CCTV has been secured relating to the dates given by Panorama, said Mr Cook, adding that they were treating the allegations with “utmost gravity”.

The YJB has suspended the placement of new youngsters at the facility, which would be “kept under review”, he went on.

Kent Police said in a statement: “Following a referral from the Medway local authority designated officer, Kent Police is investigating allegations that have been made regarding reports of abusive behaviour (physical and verbal) at a secure training facility in Medway.

“All necessary safeguarding measures have been taken and enquiries are ongoing.”

Youth Justice Board chief executive Lin Hinnigan said “immediate steps” were taken to safeguard those who are at the facility.

She said: “We have increased our own monitoring activity and the presence of our independent advocacy service, delivered by Barnardo’s. All of the staff identified in the allegations have been suspended by G4S, which runs the STC.

“Kent Police are reviewing each alleged incident and an investigation is under way. We are working closely with them and the other agencies involved, so it is not appropriate for us to comment further on the allegations.”