The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Channel 4 Exposé Causes Serco Embarrassment

04 March 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

The trouble for Serco has continued with the latest exposé by Channel 4 News.

The coverage uncovered a number of staff at the Bedfordshire immigration centre behaving in a racist and abusive manner and has already led to two of them being suspended. This latest coverage shows staff calling the detainees "animals", "beasties" and "bitches".

Serco took over the management of the centre in 2007 and has been dogged by allegations of staff acting inappropriately towards the women inmates. Located 50 miles north of London in the Bedfordshire countryside, Yarl’s Wood is the main immigration removal centre for women and families in the UK. Most of its near 400 detainees are failed asylum seekers who, Channel 4 News observes, have committed no crime.

Although Serco awarded the contract by the previous Labour government, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, called on the government to stop the use of such centres for this category of detainees which included pregnant women. "This is state-sanctioned abuse of women on the Home Secretary's watch and it needs to end now," she told the House of Commons.

Serco has responded to the criticism but pointed out that it had not received film footage prior to the broadcast on Monday. "We will not tolerate poor conduct or disrespect and will take disciplinary action wherever appropriate,” stated James Thorburn, MD, Serco's Home Affairs business. “We recognise that the public needs to be confident that Yarl's Wood is undertaking its difficult role with professionalism, care and humanity.”

Serco has announced that the respected former barrister, Kate Lampard will conduct an independent review of its work at Yarl's Wood.

Picture: Yarl’s Wood immigration centre where some of Serco’s staff have been found to be abusive to women detainees in a Channel 4 News exposé.

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 04 March 2015


Related Tags

Related Articles

Channel 4’s Leeds HQ Office Building Complete

A landmark Leeds office building, destined to be Channel 4’s headquarters, has reached completion. The Majestic first opened as a 2,400-seat cinema back in 1922,...

 Read Full Article
£100 Million Crackdown On Crime In Prison

The FM companies that operate in the prison environment and those that supply security equipment will be chuffed to learn that a huge budget for security and technology...

 Read Full Article
Serco Gets Tagged With £19.2 Million Fine

The Serious Fraud Office will make Serco, the outsourcing giant, stump up £19.2 million - plus costs - for claiming they had tagged offenders when they hadn't....

 Read Full Article
Soames Mortified At Serco Tagging Fraud

Serco Group CEO, Rupert Soames has declared himself and his management team 'mortified' at the fraudulent behaviour of a Serco offender tagging company before he...

 Read Full Article
Time To Bin Assaults On FM Staff

In the last year alone, Serco employees have been subjected to 350 reported incidents including assault, threats with weapons and verbal abuse. Following a national...

 Read Full Article
Carillion Mark Two - Union Supports Interserve Government Contracts Ban

The financially troubled outsourcing giant Interserve could be ‘Carillion Mark Two’, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union warned on Monday...

 Read Full Article
Interserve Shares Fall Further - Carillion Style Collapse Feared

Interserve, the construction and FM firm most likened to Carillion, has denied its finances are in meltdown despite the company's share price plunging 20 per cent in...

 Read Full Article
Serco Asylum Housing Evictions Create Legal Storm

Serco, the government's go to FM (and almost anything else) contractor has found itself in the middle of an immigration home eviction storm - coming up against...

 Read Full Article
Charity, Humanity, Decency - Soames Defends Serco's Charity At Homes

Serco CEO Rupert Soames has written an open letter concerning asylum seeker accommodation in Glasgow and also sent it to Councillor Susan Aitken and other Scottish...

 Read Full Article
Barclays Banks On Taking The Glasgow High Road

Barclays has said its new state-of-the-art campus is to be built at Buchanan Wharf in Glasgow and the world class facilities will be supported by cutting-edge technology...

 Read Full Article