UNITED KINGDOM: Staff fired after claims of mistreatment at G4S-run young offender unit

[14 January 2016] - Four staff have been sacked following allegations of mistreatment of children at a young offender institution.

Security firm G4S announced the move after the screening of a BBC Panorama programme that secretly filmed at Medway secure training centre in Rochester, Kent.

It emerged last week that seven members of staff had been suspended.

After the undercover investigation was broadcast on Monday night, G4S said: “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 30 December 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.”

The company has requested copies of all evidence collected by Panorama.

Paul Cook, the 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.”

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 12 to 18.

The allegations, understood to date from incidents last autumn, include claims that staff punched and slapped a number of children, that staff unnecessarily used restraint techniques, including squeezing a teenager’s windpipe so that he had difficulty breathing and the use of foul language to frighten and intimidate youngsters.


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.