Sunday 2 June 2013

G4S fit for purpose or a public liability?

Press release London  June 2 2014
Embargoed till  00:00 Monday 3 June 2014

Invitation to follow

Carers or captors? Is G4S fit for purpose or a corporate rapist profiteering from pain.

Kazuri Properties is a social enterprise which works with women who have suffered trauma and provides housing and resettlement support including resilience training. Kazuri commissioned a report to the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into asylum focusing on housing and pastoral care provided by G4S. The report by leading human rights barrister Flo Krause and others scrutinises the COMPASS Contract between the home office and G4S. 39 women gave evidence to the report and complaints ranged from peeling paint to allegations of rape and sexual violence by G4S staff.

The report will be published at a panel discussion moderated by Imran Khan the human rights solicitor in parliament at an event hosted by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Geoffrey Robinson MP on Tuesday 4 June at 17 30 hrs in committee room 12 in the House of Commons, co authors of  the report are director at Kazuri Properties Farah Damji and LSE master's degree student Nanki Chawla.

Women in particular have been subjected to trauma, harassment and in 3 cases allegations of sexual abuse.  These women who are fleeing trauma have to suffer G4S staff entering their homes unannounced,  however the women's complaints are being ignored.



1      This submission examines asylum through a gendered lens, with a focus on housing as a human right. Through our interactions with the women tenants of G4S  we propose policy recommendations with regards to both housing and the contracts and subcontractors in charge of this.

2      We conclude that the current asylum system fails women as a particularly vulnerable group, and must be overhauled in its entirety in order for gender mainstreaming to take place. We assert that housing contracts should only be given to housing associations, rather than for profit corporations, and suggest the Housing First model as an alternative to the current system.

3.    We urge an immediate review of the current contractors, in order to assess their capabilities in fulfilling their current mandate, and to ensure that the vulnerable are not being ignored. We also point out that accountability mechanisms and transparency processes are vital to ensuring a fairer, more inclusive new system. We call for trauma sensitivity training for the officials which interact with this group of vulnerable people.

Exract ends

 Report now available here

*        The COMPASS Contract is worth over £620 million however women are being evicted because although G4S was paid over £300million, to provide the service, they do not pay the landlords of the property rent. Repeated  failings to provide decent accommodation and to treat women with respect have been frequently evidenced of G4S yet they continue to win lucrative contracts providing public services. The report asks for transparency in the procurement process in the letting of large contracts to private for profit companies.

*      Lord John Reid the former home secretary and Lord Paul Condon former Metropolitan Police Commissioner are paid advisors to G4S. This abuse of trust and power by senior public servants for their personal gain must be reviewed urgently.

*     The role of successive governments in the corporatisation of state duties has lead to the wholesale betrayal of the most vulnerable people in our society.  Companies such as G4S and Serco who are hoovering up contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds  to deliver services in a way that denigrate the most basic expectations of human rights should be subject to the same stringent regulations as other players in the same market. There is no regulation imposed by established bodies such as the property ombudsman or the HCA upon global outsourcing companies with little or no experience of social housing and pastoral care. Any similar commercial activity by a registered provider regulated by the HCA would be subject to monitoring and sanctions.These questions are important in light of the Lord Chancellor's plans to privatise over 70% of probation services.  Who will carry the risk and the responsibility?

Kazuri are challenging the recent decision to award the contract for the sexual assault and rape crisis centres in the West Midlands to G4S who have no experience of working with traumatised women. A freedom of information request has been submitted. 30 years of learning and a gendered approach to women who are surviving sexual abuse have been thrown out for profiteering and privatisation. Positions to work at these centres have recently been advertised at £12.50 per hour which precludes any qualified or experienced staff coming forward.

For further information or a full copy of the report, please contact or call 020 7377 5791.

notes to editors:

Flo Krause and Imran Khan are available for interview.

letter to the home office regarding COMPASS CONTRACT

letter requesting information on G4S SARC contract to provide services to victims of rape and sexual assault

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