G4S styles itself as "the world's leading international security solutions group", providing the outsourcing of governmental operations such as prison and detention centre management, the escort and transfer of prisoners and immigration detainees, and patrolling international borders; private security services to the oil and gas industry, private energy utilities, corporations; and even the Wimbledon Tennis tournament.
Their operations stretch around the globe from USA to New Zealand, via Canada, the UK, Europe and Australia. In 2009, the company had pre-tax profits of £219.2m, from a turnover of 7.01bn (up 7.4% on 2008 figure). The company's UK government security portfolio had a £1bn plus annual turnover, up 16%, and produced pre-tax profits of £97.3m (for UK and Ireland). Immigration is a key component of this sector and the profits it produces. The company runs 3 detention centres: Brook House and the Tinsley House children and families centre, both at Gatwick Airport, and the Oakington IRC near Cambridge which recently saw the recent death of a 40 years old detainee, Eliud Nyenze, from a heart attack after apparently being denied medical assistance by G4S staff.
The company's other immigration-related activity is the escorting of detainees between detention centres, to courts and tribunals and to deportation flights. In the former they were involved in the transfer of Sehar Shebaz and her 12 month old daughter Wania on both their 9 hour journey from Dungavel in Scotland to the notorious Yarl's Wood detention centre near Bedford on 21 May, and her deportation the following day back to her likely death at the hands of her violent ex-husband extended family in Pakistan.
The escorting of immigration detainees, handcuffed between 2 guards for the entire trip and often resisting because they know they could be going back to the threat of imprisonment, torture or even death, is just one of the jobs G4S Security are seeking to recruit additions to their 595,000 plus worldwide workforce for at the City Future jobs fair on Friday 4 June in the East Wing of the Brighton Centre. The fair is organised by Brighton & Hove Council, Job Centre Plus and is sponsored by the Evening Argus.
We call upon these organisations to refuse to support a company that profits so much from the misery of others; to withdraw their invitation to take part in the jobs fair and not to invite the company in any of its myriad forms to any future such events. We ask the Brighton and Hove public to support this call by contacting their local councillor and the Evening Argus to complain about their association with G4S Security.