SOURCE: BBC1 PANORAMA
The BBC’s Panorama News Program conducted an undercover investigation of the G4S-operated Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent. The program (above) was aired on January 11, 2016. Six minutes, 30 seconds (6:30) into the video, a G4S guard is seen restraining a teen with his fingers on the child’s throat. The child is choking and saying “I can’t breathe.”
The BBC had the video reviewed by Andrew McDonnell, a Clinical Psychologist and leading expert on handling challenging behaviors, including physical restraint. Watching the guard with his fingers on the child’s throat, McDonnell says, “That is really dangerous. He’s telling you he can’t breathe, so let go of him.” McDonnell describes the incident as “an example of excessive force while applying restraint.”
The video also shows G4S guards talking openly about falsifying records of violent incidents. According to the Guardian, the staff falsified records so that G4S wouldn’t be fined.
After showing the undercover video to G4S and British authorities, seven Medway guards were suspended, four of these staff were fired and the director resigned. The Kent Police arrested five of the guards.
Weeks after the program aired, G4S announced it was starting the process to sell its Children’s Services business in the UK, and give up all contracts at the secure training centers.