Monday, May 19, 2014

Serco covers up sexual assault

Private prison provider Serco has been caught covering up sexual assault at its UK refugee detention centres again:

Serco, the private outsourcing giant, is to be investigated by MPs after it was forced to disclose a secret internal report revealing evidence that it failed to properly investigate a claim of repeated sexual assaults by one of its staff against a female resident at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre.

The document, which was marked confidential, was made public last week following a four-month legal battle between Serco and Guardian News and Media. Lawyers said the report demonstrates a culture of disbelief towards women inside the detention centre, which is run by Serco, and hailed the high court's decision forcing Serco to disclose the document as a victory for greater transparency.


Although the claims of Sana (not her real name) remain unsubstantiated after investigations by police and the Home Office, the report's findings and process have angered MPs and lawyers.

Among them is the revelation that a Serco guard who appeared to believe the claims made by the alleged victim be given "guidance" to assist her "objectivity" in future, and that Serco believed the alleged victim lacked credibility because her allegations were deemed too consistent and detailed.

And naturally, they deported her after a whitewash "investigation".

This isn't the first case. There's another example from last year, involving the same prison. Again, the witnesses were deported to prevent them from giving evidence. If this isn't an organised coverup of multiple sexual assaults, its doing a bloody good impression of it.

And this is the company that the UK government wants to outsource child protective services to: one that covers up for rapists.

Meanwhile, we should all be asking ourselves whether we really want this company running our prisons, and looking very carefully at their "investigation" of any crimes perpetrated against those in their custody.