Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

Firm hired by Home Office admits its guards lack respect for minorities and women

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Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#1  Postby Tangerine Dream » Apr 14, 2012 4:59 am

Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive'

Firm hired by Home Office to deport refused asylum seekers and foreign prisoners admits its guards lack respect for minorities and women


The private company hired by the government to deport foreign nationals has decided to place its own guards under surveillance after concluding that some lack respect for ethnic minorities and women and display "loutish" and "aggressive" behaviour.

The damning assessment of the attitudes and conduct of staff working for Reliance is made in an internal company memo, drawn up by senior managers after the company won the Home Office contract to deport foreign prisoners and refused asylum seekers.

The document, one of a number of internal company records leaked to the Guardian, identifies problems "at all levels of the business" and cites poor communication, peer pressure and use of "inappropriate language" by guards empowered to use force to return foreign nationals.

In response, executives at Reliance have decided to recruit a team of covert monitors who will pose as passengers on commercial flights and report back on the performance of guards. They hope the move will quell the growing impression that the deportation system remains in crisis – 18 months after an Angolan man, Jimmy Mubenga, died after being forcibly restrained on a flight from Heathrow.

The Guardian has obtained details of seven further cases of alleged mistreatment of detainees said to have occurred since last May, when Reliance took over the lucrative government removals contract from rival private security firm G4S.

The Home Office said the five allegations it had investigated were found to be "entirely without merit"; in at least one case a detainee is believed to have seriously injured guards during altercations.

Campaigners argue that the complaints process rarely finds in favour of deportees and say the latest complaints indicate a culture of using excessive force remains.

Three G4S guards arrested over Mubenga's death in October 2010 remain on bail. The Crown Prosecution Service is expected to announce whether they will face manslaughter charges at the end of the month.

A parliamentary report last week suggested the removals process was in chaos, as a fifth of foreign prisoners who recently finished their jail terms had still not been deported by last November. The home affairs select committee was highly critical of the UK Border Agency, the Home Office department that works with Reliance, saying it was failing to fulfil its basic tasks and risked damaging public trust.

Reliance consulted independent groups and the Border Agency about the welfare of detainees. The consultation pointed to problems with management of staff and "laddish" behaviour and the memo says there is a variation in the way guards treat detainees. The memo states: "Is there actually a problem with our business? The consensus was: yes. Is this a company where women, ethnic minorities and those of diverse religions feel comfortable? Evidence would suggest: no."

Under a list of reasons why the company may have inherited a damaging culture, the memo identifies complacency and low morale and cites issues to do with supervision, discipline and recruitment. It also concludes there is a lack of respect, shared values and "knowledge of how we should treat people".

In a statement, Reliance said that while it was proud of the overall standards of most staff, it had have begun a programme to rectify some areas of behaviour and attitude. "This will be supported by a programme of on board, covert monitoring of staff behaviour, a process which is due to be introduced in June 2012.

"The company has also reviewed and amended its recruitment processes to encourage more applications from women and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, has restructured the senior management team and created a central unit which has responsibility for overseeing all operational standards."

The company said "an initial period of adjustment" was to be expected when taking on a new contract, adding that the new contract was different from the one held by G4S "in its requirement to balance the welfare of detainees with a more stringent approach to costings and creating more value for money for the taxpayer".

Since taking on the contract, Reliance has embarked on cost-cutting while seeking to change the "culture and behaviour" of guards – many of whom were automatically transferred across from G4S in May. Insiders say the contract has been beset with problems, with guards complaining about shortages of staff, issues with vehicles and poor safety standards.

Eleven guards are understood to have been suspended for refusing to fly on charter flights to Afghanistan, citing a lack of security provisions or risk assessments. On one recent flight to Kabul they say they were left for several hours on the tarmac at the airport, in freezing conditions and fearing for their safety. Reliance said five guards remained suspended for refusing to fly to Afghanistan but insisted its risk assessments had been "stringent".

In a separate incident, a guard was temporarily suspended and given a warning after being overheard making what were perceived as inappropriate comments in an airport lounge in Nairobi, Kenya.

In one of the leaked documents, Reliance blames "austerity cuts" within UKBA for a series of changes in working practices that proved unpopular with staff, some of whom threatened a revolt.

The document warns that its multimillion pound contract with the Home Office is at risk: "Failure to change would make the contract's future unviable," it says.

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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#2  Postby Wiðercora » Apr 14, 2012 8:00 am

The British really don't like foreigners.

Have the Lib-Dems managed to end child detention yet, like they said they would?
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#3  Postby chairman bill » Apr 14, 2012 8:13 am

Don't be silly, Wiðercora - all continuing problems are the fault of Labour, even when they aren't. In addition, I'm clearly a racist because I'm in the Labour Party & they are responsible for this. No LibDem (or Tory) could be held responsible for this, or through association with their party, be regarded as supportive of policy decisions & associated actions taken by that party. That would be silly. Therefore, it must be Labour's fault. I'd just like to apologise to everyone for being so evil & an enemy of freedom. Sorry.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#4  Postby Globe » Apr 14, 2012 8:16 am

Why the f*** did they have to go hire G4S??
They have a very bad reputation world wide, and I am ashamed to say... it originated in Denmark (which btw might explain their xenophobic and sexist policy). :nono:
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#5  Postby THWOTH » Apr 15, 2012 12:08 am

Such cultures as that reported of the immigration service do arise for no reason. The idea that guarding the borer guards is going to make them all model officials is naive and short sighted and a complete 'slamming the stable door after the horse has been boiled down for glue' remedy - which is no remedy at all.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#6  Postby mcgruff » Apr 15, 2012 12:33 am

I hate all this outsourcing shit which allows ministers to distance themselves from any wrongdoing.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#7  Postby james1v » Apr 15, 2012 1:32 am

mcgruff wrote:I hate all this outsourcing shit which allows ministers to distance themselves from any wrongdoing.



Exactly. :cheers:
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#8  Postby DougC » Apr 15, 2012 2:26 am

mcgruff wrote:I hate all this outsourcing shit which allows ministers to distance themselves from any wrongdoing.

In the past the Police where resposable for deportations. Then there was a job to some African shit hole that the police federation said was too dangerous for its members. Some air-ambulance company had a few security guards, so said they would do it. Thus private deportations was born. Dont worry, most of the staff doing it would prefer to work for the Home Office direct.

Its still going to happen. All countrys deport and it only depends on who does it. Most likely the same people rebadged.
Most removals happen without incident. However having someome throw there toys out the pram at 35,000ft and geting restrained because they are going back to a country (where being a pedo is not looked on as well as in the U.K.), needs to happen for everyones sake.
The reliance staff are in the main the G4S staff who TUPEd over in May last year.

Eleven guards are understood to have been suspended for refusing to fly on charter flights to Afghanistan, citing a lack of security provisions or risk assessments. On one recent flight to Kabul they say they were left for several hours on the tarmac at the airport, in freezing conditions and fearing for their safety. Reliance said five guards remained suspended for refusing to fly to Afghanistan but insisted its risk assessments had been "stringent".

This should be quite telling. Would you want to fly into A-stan sitting on a flack vest.

Since taking on the contract, Reliance has embarked on cost-cutting while seeking to change the "culture and behaviour" of guards – many of whom were automatically transferred across from G4S in May. Insiders say the contract has been beset with problems, with guards complaining about shortages of staff, issues with vehicles and poor safety standards.

Any chance these bits I've underlined are conected?

In a separate incident, a guard was temporarily suspended and given a warning after being overheard making what were perceived as inappropriate comments in an airport lounge in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the past this would result in loseing there job, simple.

In one of the leaked documents, Reliance blames "austerity cuts" within UKBA for a series of changes in working practices that proved unpopular with staff, some of whom threatened a revolt.In one of the leaked documents, Reliance blames "austerity cuts" within UKBA for a series of changes in working practices that proved unpopular with staff, some of whom threatened a revolt.

The U.N. states that a refugee should ask for asylum in the first safe place they find. Then why is someone given asylum when they arrive at Stanstead, Luton or St Pancras Station? You cant arive in these places from an unsafe country (unless Spain, France and Belgium are now unsafe). lets not talk about the ferry from france. Although lets face facts, if people where onlt passing through to get to Ireland, would we be stoping them?
The UKBA is in a total mess. Border security is not seen as an issue for the government (of any colour), and it will not be unill something nasty happens. These are, however, the peope who stopped a few Vietnamese from LEAVING and locked them up. Like I said - total mess.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#9  Postby THWOTH » Apr 15, 2012 7:36 am

mcgruff wrote:I hate all this outsourcing shit which allows ministers to distance themselves from any wrongdoing.

When ministers cite such outsourcing to distance themselves from the responsibility for outcomes I call it the Michael Howard defence. He is the former UK conservative Home Office Minister who suggested that certain failures were not his fault because he was only responsible for 'policy' whereas the head of the prison service was responsible for its implementation, or 'procedure.' There was nothing wrong with his ideas, he said, but there was with the way somebody else had carried them through. This was shown as a lie when it was discovered that he had directly interfered in operational matters.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KHMO14KuJk[/youtube]


If one accepts this 'Michael Howard' of course then a Minister could, and would, always claim to never be responsible for any incompetences on their watch as someone else can always be said to have not implemented the ideas properly - it's hardly as if ministers are actually locking prison doors at night and ordering whiteboards for schools themselves after all. It has been this way with regards to the NHS for the last 30 years or so. Ministers speak as if the NHS were some out-of-control problem engine, the drivers of which need constant and necessary reform and are worthy of the strongest political rebuke. In fact the operators of the government-defined NHS system are only doing, and can only do, what they are allowed and obliged to do by the law as created an implemented and interpreted by a succession of Health Ministers.

We've seen the outsourcing of service and responsibility in this way increase under the last three governments in many areas, from defence procurement to assessing the benefit status of the long-term sick and disabled, and more recently the outsourcing of community policing to the private sector in some areas. But of course the biggest move to outsourcing responsibility is in the recent NHS reforms which actually enshrines in law a seemingly 'legal' abrogation of the Health Minister's responsibility and makes several unaccountable bodies and private commercial interests responsible directly responsible for the nature, scope and outcomes of the nations healthcare in his place. For the avaricious, self-serving political oporator this is a wet-dream of a Michael Howard defence. All the good can be claimed by the politician and all the bad can be laid as someone else's door, in this case probably an off-shore holding company in the Cayman Islands.

If we move more functions of the institutions of government, and more responsibilities of elected Ministers along with them, to the private sector we will end up with a political system which is organised around generating tax to pay the private sector to do what the citizen wants the government to do; a government which acts as a mere broker between the citizen and private sector. Business interests will seek those lucrative public service contracts though the institutional system of bribery called 'lobbying' and the democratic process will be organised around the relationship between business and politicians and not around the relationship between the citizen and the State.

In fact, some might say we have that already, and this recent report into the standards of immigration officials could be just the excuse political-business needs to create and open up a market in immigration services.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#10  Postby Wiðercora » Apr 15, 2012 8:23 am

The U.N. states that a refugee should ask for asylum in the first safe place they find. Then why is someone given asylum when they arrive at Stanstead, Luton or St Pancras Station? You cant arive in these places from an unsafe country (unless Spain, France and Belgium are now unsafe).


If I had to guess, I'd say that they arrive by aeroplane.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#11  Postby ED209 » Apr 15, 2012 9:46 am

Wiðercora wrote:
The U.N. states that a refugee should ask for asylum in the first safe place they find. Then why is someone given asylum when they arrive at Stanstead, Luton or St Pancras Station? You cant arive in these places from an unsafe country (unless Spain, France and Belgium are now unsafe).


If I had to guess, I'd say that they arrive by aeroplane.


Mmm, but you cannot land a plane from, say, Yemen or Sudan at Stansted Luton or especially St Pancras.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#12  Postby Animavore » Apr 15, 2012 9:54 am

:lol: Oh the irony.

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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#13  Postby chairman bill » Apr 15, 2012 9:57 am

The outsourcing issue is a pertinent point - it happens in all sorts of places, and the evasion of responsibility by officials & government bodies is a key issue. Somerset County Council is set to privatise all of it's social service provision for people with learning disability. Once done, it no longer has to worry about inspections, possible abuse cases or anything that might cause it difficulties. Any problems, it's somebody else's fault.

Privatising deportation services achieves a similar situation for national government. Plus it fulfils an ideological need to privatise & enable some bastard to make a profit at taxpayer cost.


Edit: typo
Last edited by chairman bill on Apr 15, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#14  Postby Animavore » Apr 15, 2012 10:01 am

They privatised speed cameras and checkpoints in Ireland recently. Have they done that in UK? Didn't look like it when I was there a couple of weeks ago.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#15  Postby chairman bill » Apr 15, 2012 10:05 am

The coalition government scrapped speed cameras. Probably 'cos they think only poor people walk, so only poor people will be killed by speeding cars. And as rich people can afford big fuck-off 4x4s, if some oik in a Corsa has an accident that involves them, it won't matter much. And the dead Corsa driver will be a poor person, so who cares?
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#16  Postby Panderos » Apr 15, 2012 11:12 am

chairman bill wrote:The coalition government scrapped speed cameras. Probably 'cos they think only poor people walk, so only poor people will be killed by speeding cars. And as rich people can afford big fuck-off 4x4s, if some oik in a Corsa has an accident that involves them, it won't matter much. And the dead Corsa driver will be a poor person, so who cares?

The thing with speed cameras was they were just another way for the government to make money! Nothing to do with safety! Also, the other problem with speed cameras is they didn't make any money. They cost the tax payer a fortune! :argh:
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#17  Postby Wiðercora » Apr 15, 2012 12:08 pm

My dad's a habitual speeder (every time I get in the car with him I accept the fact that I very well might die) and he just slows down whenever there's a speed camera sign. Which, on the one hand, prevents people form speeding near accident blackspots, but doesn't actually stop people from speeding everywhere else.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#18  Postby Panderos » Apr 15, 2012 12:10 pm

True. Average speed cameras are much more effective.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#19  Postby mcgruff » Apr 15, 2012 12:39 pm

Panderos wrote:The thing with speed cameras was they were just another way for the government to make money!


That's a damned ignorant thing to say but let's stay on topic and not get sidetracked into discussing road safety.
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Re: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive

#20  Postby Strontium Dog » Apr 15, 2012 12:44 pm

Globe wrote:Why the f*** did they have to go hire G4S??


G4S were the old contractors, Reliance replaced them in 2010.

mcgruff wrote:I hate all this outsourcing shit which allows ministers to distance themselves from any wrongdoing.


It makes services accountable to the people they serve. If the Home Office was directly delivering this service and their staff were aggressive, you can't just sack the Home Office. However, as a contractor, Reliance can be relieved of their contract, or fined, if they don't do their job properly.

Unfortunately some people dislike this accountability because envy means they can't get past the fact that someone somewhere will make a little money if they do a good job.
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