Like it or not, G4S is securing your world

OurKingdom broke the story that UK police personnel were wearing uniforms with the logo of a private security company. But G4S isn't just securing the Olympics: the company has global reach. openSecurity joins Clare Sambrook in asking how G4S is securing your world.

Clare Sambrook
8 June 2012

This week, as the company meets in London for its AGM, Our Kingdom launches the G4S collection.

You are not imagining it. The G4S logo really is popping up all over the place — in your local supermarket, on your local street, on police uniforms if you happen to live in the English county of Lincolnshire.

The G4S logo is all over the London Olympics, where 25,000 security people will be working under G4S control. The company’s bill, £300 million. (That’s right: £300 million).

The world’s biggest security company, G4S operates in 125 countries. Slogan: Securing Your World.

G4S is based in Britain, where it is fast taking over vital public services... in policing, running prisons and children’s homes, dominating “asylum markets”, training magistrates, assessing welfare claimants, building and running hospitals and schools. It is a very big player in the Private Finance Initiative.

G4S is installing smart meters in our homes, guarding our supermarkets, supplying number-plate recognition technology to retailers, the police and the military, performing covert surveillance for insurance companies.

In so many ways G4S is watching us.

Since early 2010 OurKingdom has been watching G4S, shining a light on this company’s extraordinary progress and its cosy relations with government.

Growing from our reporting on the scandal of child immigration detention here in the UK, OurKingdom’s award-winning reporting and analysis has been followed by, among others, the BBC, The Times, The Guardian and the New York Times.

We have explored human rights abuses and child protection failings. And revisited the horrible death of Mr Ward, the Aboriginal Elder cooked to death in G4S’s care, whose case casts doubt upon often-unchallenged assumptions about the virtues of privatisation.

Today, on the eve of the company’s annual meeting in London, we launch our G4S collection, bringing together all our coverage for the benefit of readers, reporters, activists and academics.

We welcome fresh submissions, intelligence from within G4S, and reports, like this one, on G4S around the world. Please, let us know how G4S is securing your world.

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