Gatwick Detention Centre Bosses Appear Before MPs

14 September 2017, 06:26

G4S

Bosses at an immigration removal centre near Gatwick appear before MPs today It is after accusations of bullying and abuse at Brook House.

The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee will hear evidence from senior figures at the security firm after claims of "incompetence and chaos" at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, near Gatwick Airport, in West Sussex.

Committee chairwoman and Labour MP Yvette Cooper said: "There are serious questions for G4S to answer about both the grave reports of bullying and abuse at Brook House and also the scale of profit they were making at the time.

"Clearly for a private company to make large profits out of a contract where abuse and mismanagement were taking place would be completely unacceptable.

"That is why the committee has asked G4S to attend and we will be looking for full answers on all these issues."

An investigation into conditions at the centre by BBC's Panorama saw nine G4S members of staff suspended pending a probe into allegations.

A Home Office employee was also suspended while claims relating to their previous work for G4S at the facility were looked into.

Undercover BBC footage allegedly showed staff mocking detainees who were receiving medical treatment after self-harming or taking drugs.

In one incident, a detainee was self-harming by trying to self-strangulate and putting a mobile phone battery in his mouth.

A custody manager allegedly remarked: "Plug him in and he'll be a Duracell bunny."

It was claimed that later during the same incident, when the detainee was being physically restrained, another member of staff was filmed choking the detainee.

Panorama's undercover reporter said the staff member "basically stuck both of his fingers into his neck, and he was pushing so, so hard I could hear the detainee trying to gasp for breath".

Brook House is one of two immigration centres run by G4S in the UK and has capacity for 508 adult men.

Panorama uncovered alleged abuse and mistreatment of youngsters at a G4S youth detention centre in Kent last year.

Medway Secure Training Centre was later judged inadequate by Ofsted inspectors, who found that young inmates were able to watch sexually explicit content on television.

Another G4S facility, HMP Birmingham, was hit by riots in December 2016, some of the worst in a UK jail in years.

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