The ‘detainee escort services’ in the UK

On 29 October 2010, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced a four-year, multi-million pound contract with Reliance Task Management to take over these services, both within the UK and internationally.

The contract begins in May 2011, leaving G4S in control of these services until then—the company being investigated regarding the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died during his forcible removal on 12 October 2010.

On 12 October 2010, three G4S men were accused of causing the death of Jimmy Mubenga, and the case has been ongoing since.

Eyewitnesses say Mubenga was “heavily restrained by security guards and had complained of breathing problems before he collapsed.” Mr. Mubenga died at 8pm that night, as he was being deported from the UK to Angola, right in the hands of UKBA security.

To make matters worse, there is evidence that shows detainee abuse from private security guards has been occurring for years. In 2008, a report by Birnberg Peirce & Partners, Medical Justice and the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaign, showed that asylum seekers very frequently receive injuries at the hands of private security officers.

And recently the Institute of Race Relations released information saying that at least 14 people have died since 1991 during forced removals from the UK.

G4S refers to itself as the “world’s leading international security solutions group,” and it certainly does play a major role in UK immigration security.

Four out of the 11 UK immigration detention centres are run by G4S with more than 1,000 detainees, they run most of the UK’s ‘short-term holding facilities,’ has been the UKs main contractor for providing ‘detainee escort services’ and despite the continued investigation after the death of Jimmy Mubenga, will be the main contractor until May 2011, when Reliance Secure Task Management will take over.

Reliance Secure Task Management is a subsidiary of Reliance Security Group, established in 1994 and a company that’s playing a growing part in the criminal justice sector, on behalf of the home office and government agencies.

In 2003, the Reliance Security Group was contracted to provide ‘prisoner escort ‘services’ across Scotland. Today, Reliance transports over 440,000 detainees a year, employs over 900 custody officers and operates 400 specialised vehicles from 18 bases across 22 police services.

Working in a total of nine police custody centres, the Reliance Security Group is looking toward securing more detention centre contracts.

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