Asylum Seekers let down by G4S
- 21 Feb
Report shows that the private company G4S who have been given the contract for asylum housing has been a disaster for asylum seekers and their families.
The study suggests that the allocation of the contracts to an international security company rather than a housing provider suggests that the contracts were allocated for political rather than commercial reasons. This is only compounded by the poor performance of the company.
The study took place in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, prepared on behalf of South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) and Notog4sYorkshire Plus, for the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.
The key points they highlight are:
- The original business plan of G4S was not adequately scrutinised by the UKBA. There was never enough good quality accommodation in the PRS (Private Rented Sector) in Yorkshire to move asylum seekers into. This fact was put to the UKBA and never considered;
- The UKBA/G4S transition process entailed delays for up to six months in moving individual families, properties not being inspected prior to allocation, and substandard properties offered on a ‘no choice' basis. The report quotes a large number of case studies;
- There was no evidence that UKBA and G4S had any procedures for assessing the needs of asylum seekers and their families and attempting to match them with appropriate accommodation;
- Housing management services provided by G4S and subcontracting companies were totally inadequate as a result of reductions in staffing levels on the new contracts compared with the previous Target contracts;
- There is evidence particularly in the North East that G4S and its subcontractors ignored the UKBA guidelines on not allocating asylum seekers ‘vulnerable properties' in high crime areas and in areas with known racial incidents and far right activity.
The report concludes that the weight of evidence gathered by researchers, journalists, volunteers and activists should trigger an investigation by the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration.
A councillor from Hull says she is "very worried" over the health needs of refugees being housed in the city by G4S. The work was previously carried out by a consortium of local councils in the region and the social care councillor is extremely concerned about the quality of the service and the people being looked after, since the change over to G4S.
The study comes after an announcement last week that G4S will be one of the private firms handling the monitoring and rehabilitation of medium risk prisoners when released into society.
This is a similar situation where they have no experience in the field, instead of using those already familiar with the sector.
Harry Fletcher of the probation union Napo said it is a “chaotic and dangerous” plan:
It’s extraordinary the Government will outsource probation services to firms with no experience supervising volatile offenders.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1428066
- 08 May
Delays in the asylum system leaving many refugees homeless
The charity is calling on the government to review its system so that delays are eliminated in issuing documentation.In the report, titled '28 Days Later: the experience of new refugees in the UK',...
- 24 Apr
MPs criticise asylum housing scheme management
The Public Accounts Committee has said that the Home Office scheme has resulted in asylum seekers being places in "unacceptable poor" housing due to being "badly managed", reports the BBC. The Home...
- 14 Dec
Consistent Problems for Detainees
The two inspectorates interviewed a total of 81 detainees to establish the factors relevant to the decision to detain or maintain detention, and the impact that detention was having on them. They...
- 21 Nov
G4S Asylum Seeker Housing Declared Unfit
Parliamentary inquiry into housing provided to...
- 15 Oct
Pakistani Girl fighting for education will receive treatment in the UK
Until now, she has been at a military hospital in Rawalpindi, but London had offered to help her in any way, so the evacuation has been arranged by the Pakistani authorities after an assessment by...
- 05 Oct
Child starved to death after benefits delay
Further tragedies are increasingly likely as more asylum claims are processed while support funding dries up, organisations claim.Details of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of ‘child...
- 01 Oct
Pregnant women, children and people with disabilities among those living on less than 77p a day
Pregnant women, children and people with disabilities are among those who have been left destitute on Scotland's streets, according to a report by the Scottish Poverty Information Unit (pdf) which is...
- 24 Sep
Asylum Seeker Process can cause Mental Health Problems for Children
A study by The Childrens Society shows the link between the troubles children have when claiming asylum and their mental health and well being.Of the 3,000 unaccompanied children that claim asylum in...
- 20 Aug
Championing Asylum Rights After Death of Whole Family
The decision not to carry out a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of three asylum seekers in Glasgow brings to an end a sorry tale of desperation.Russian refugees Serguei, Tatiana and Stepan...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Services Good clear delivery of some complicated information. Jaqui Smith - Young Womens Housing Project