G4S children's prison staff suspended over abuse claims

Friday, 8 January 2016

Seven staff members at a G4S run children's prison in Kent have been suspended over claims they violently abused children at the facility, the BBC reports.

The revelations come from an undercover investigation by BBC's Panorama into Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester. The allegations relate to ten boys aged 14 to 17 and are being investigated by Kent police.

Alleged abuses by staff include:

  • stabbing a child in the leg with a fork
  • squeezing a child's windpipe so he couldn't breathe
  • slapping a child repeatedly around the head
  • using threatening and intimidating language
  • boasting about mistreating children

Staff attempted to conceal these abuses by hiding beneath CCTV cameras, or carrying them out in areas that weren't filmed. 

In Spring 2015 Ofsted published a damning report into another children's prison run by G4S, Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre. There, staff were found to have been subjecting children to degrading treatment and racist comments, and even preventing a child receiving medical treatment for a fracture for 15 hours. G4S subsequently lost the contract to run Rainsbrook in September 2015, but the contract to run Medway was extended to 2021.