|Type||Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: GFS, OMX: G4S|
|Headquarters||Crawley, United Kingdom|
|Key people||John Connolly (Chairman)
Nick Buckles (CEO)
|Services||Care services, cash handling services, justice services, manned security services, outsourced business processes related to security and safety risks|
|Revenue||£7,501 million (2012)|
|Operating income||£290 million (2012)|
|Net income||£70 million (2012)|
|Subsidiaries||G4S Secure Solutions|
G4S plc (formerly Group 4 Securicor) is a British multinational security services company headquartered in Crawley, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest security company measured by revenues and has operations in around 125 countries. With over 657,000 employees, it is the world's third-largest private sector employer (after Wal-Mart Stores and Foxconn). G4S was founded in 2004 by the merger of the UK-based Securicor plc with the Denmark-based Group 4 Falck.
G4S has its origins in a guarding business founded in Copenhagen in 1901 by Marius Hogrefe originally known as Kjøbenhavn Frederiksberg Nattevagt (which translates as Copenhagen and Frederiksberg Night Watch) and subsequently renamed Falck. In 2000 Group 4, a security firm formed in the 1960s, merged with Falck to form Group 4 Falck. In 2002 Group 4 Falck went on to buy The Wackenhut Corporation in the USA. In 2004 Group 4 Falck merged with Securicor, a security firm founded in 1935 in London, to form G4S.
2004 to 2010 
In 2006, 2007 and 2008 G4S was the subject of a global campaign by union workers alleging that its subsidiaries undermine labour and human rights standards. Some of these groups were organised under the banner of the SEIU-funded Focus on Group 4 Securicor. This group supported protests at Group 4 Securicor's annual general meeting in London in 2005 and again in 2006.
The 2006 US State Department Report on Human Rights in Indonesia released in March 2006 featured the on-going dispute in Jakarta with Group4/Securicor. In July 2006 the Indonesian Securicor workers had a substantial win – but the campaigners continue to support other Group 4 Securicor workers. The company disputed these claims and pointed to its strong relationships with unions around the world, including the GMB in Britain.
In January 2008, an Aboriginal man from Western Australia died of heat stroke after being transported in a Global Solutions Limited (GSL) van without air conditioning or water. Criminal charges were never laid despite a GSL company spokesperson admitting there were "grounds for concern". This came after GSL had already been criticised in 2005 for their handling of Australia's detained immigrants in a report undertaken by former Head of Queensland's Corrective Services Keith Hamburger. GSL was acquired by G4S later that year.
In March 2008, it was announced that G4S were taking over Scottish Rock Steady Group – who steward at major sporting and music events mostly in the UK. Rock Steady events have included Live8 concerts in London, Scottish FA Cup Final & the Download Festival. In April 2008, G4S acquired RONCO Consulting Corporation, one of the world’s premier humanitarian and commercial mine action, ordnance disposal and security companies.
In 2008, G4S also acquired Touchcom, Inc. for US$23 million. Touchcom, Inc. is located in the Burlington/Bedford, Massachusetts area. The rebranding of Touchcom, Inc. to G4S was completed by 1 January 2012.
In December 2008 G4S and UNI Global Union, announced the launch of an Ethical Employment Partnership, which will drive improvements in standards across the global security industry. Simultaneous to this, G4S and the SEIU reached an agreement to end their long dispute and establish a framework to work together in the interest of employees.
In 2009, G4S continued to acquire companies: Secura Monde International Limited and Shiremoor International Engineering Limited, together, the UK’s leading specialist banknote and high security technical and commercial advisory companies; All Star International, one of the premier facilities management and base operations support companies providing services to the US Government; Adesta, US-based provider of integrated security systems and communication systems; and Hill & Associates Consultants Limited, Asia’s leading provider of specialist risk-mitigation consulting services. The Västberga helicopter robbery occurred on 23 September 2009 in Sweden. Both G4S's own security and the police work were criticised.
In the autumn of 2009, G4S personnel in Australia went on strike, arguing that the company had subjected them to low pay and poor working conditions. The strike imperiled the operations of the court system in the state of Victoria. The guards provided entry-point screening for weapons and bombs in both the County Court and Magistrates Court, as well as additional security in the court rooms themselves.
2010 to present 
Aborted acquisition of ISS 
On 17 October 2011, G4S announced it would purchase the Denmark-based facilities management group ISS A/S for £5.2 billion. The acquisition would have created the world's largest facilities management company. Within two weeks, the deal was killed due to lack of shareholder support. G4S's chief, Nick Buckles recounted the events of the failed acquisition, which cost the company tens of millions of dollars, as "...one of the most bruising experiences of my life". A combination of institutional investors who led the response and the minority shareholders who followed, objected to a variety of factors, not the least of which was the additional leverage and debt the deal would introduce to G4S's balance sheet. General consensus is that lack of planning for shareholder response on the G4S side doomed the deal. Furthermore, many investors and analysts questioned why the company would want to purchase a firm so far removed from its area of expertise.
Acquisitions of Guidance Monitoring and Chubb 
In April 2011 G4S acquired Guidance Monitoring, an international designer and manufacturer of electronic monitoring technologies, including hardware and software used for offender monitoring and tracking.
In December 2011 G4S acquired the assets of Chubb Emergency Response, a large key holding company in the UK. The deal was finalised on 17 December 2011. G4S are now integrating the Chubb business into their existing key holding and response service.
Sale of Wackenhut Pakistan 
G4S announced in late August 2012 that it would be selling its Pakistan division, Wackenhut Pakistan Limited, to its chairman Ikram Sehgal for a figure of around $10 million, according to the Financial Times. Sehgal disputed this figure, calling it “speculative” in a statement to the Express Tribune.
G4S's principal activity is the provision of security services, including care services, justice services, manned security services, cash services including the management and transportation of cash and valuables, and other outsourced business processes related to security and safety risks. G4S has around 657,000 employees across around 125 countries and is headquartered in Crawley, United Kingdom. Its customers include governments, corporates, financial institutions, utilities, ports and airports, transport and logistics providers, and consumers. Government contracts accounted for 27% of G4S's turnover in 2011.
G4S operates custody facilities on behalf of law enforcement agencies, including seven prisons in England and Wales, reduced to six after it lost its contract to run HMP Wolds which it had run since its opening in 1992. It provides guarding services at airports including Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Oslo Airport, Brussels Airport, Schiphol Airport and OR Tambo Airport as well as at facilities belonging to US, UK, Canada and European governments.
G4S operates electronic security systems and provides cash-management and logistics services for banks. It is involved in risk-management, consultancy and support in areas where infrastructure is limited. Services include land-mine clearance, ordnance management and training. G4S provides revenue-protection services for railway companies across the UK. It is a contractor in the UK government's Welfare to Work scheme.
G4S Cash Solutions undertakes cash transportation. It began a pilot project with Toronto-Dominion Bank in Canada that developed into a nationwide partnership in 1997, through which G4S Cash Solutions secured the contract for "cash transportation and first line maintenance on automated teller machines (ATMs) – both cash dispensing and deposit pick up units." Since 2005 G4S had been perfecting the best automated teller machines (ATMs) maintenance solution by improving IMS evolve at G4S's ATM Maintenance Engineering operation in the UK.  By 2010 G4S Cash Solutions operated 2,577 ATMs, "1,093 branch night deposits, 95 weekly balanced cash dispensers as well as eight cash dispensers for branch tellers and 100 across the pavement services." Early in 2010 G4S Cash Solutions was part of the discussion on the introduction of polymer banknotes in 2011 with leading Canadian financial institutions. 
In 2011, G4S became a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the international standard to promote socially responsible business behaviour including human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
G4S is a founder signatory of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC), a multi-stakeholder initiative convened by the Swiss government.
In 2007, G4S began the G4S 4teen, an award winning programme to support 14 young athletes around the world. Mentored by G4S global ambassador Haile Gebreselassie, five athletes reached the London 2012 Olympic Games including Mariana Pajón who won Gold in the BMX for Colombia.
Israel and Palestine G4S supplies security equipment and services for use at Israeli prisons, checkpoints and settlements in the West Bank. It also helps to maintain and profit from Israel's prison system. In 2007, the Israeli subsidiary of G4S signed a contract with the Israeli Prison Authority to provide security systems for major Israeli prisons.
Wackenhut subsidiary G4S subsidiary Wackenhut, in September 2005, faced allegations of security lapses at seven military bases where it was contracted to provide services. The company claimed the accusations were false and promoted by a union seeking to enrol its employees.
In March 2006, whistle-blowers employed at Wackenhut released information to the press revealing that the company cheated on an anti-terrorism drill at a US nuclear site. It also performed poorly on another drill at a separate location. The allegations claimed that Wackenhut systematically violated weapons inventory and handling policies and that managers showed new hires spots at the facilities where they could take naps and cut corners during patrols.
In July 2007, US Senator Bob Casey urged Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to re-examine federal plans involving Wackenhut and its operations at US nuclear facilities, public transit systems and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The Senator said the company was responsible for short-changing its employees.
The following winter, the New York Times reported that the Exelon Corporation would replace Wackenhut as an in-house security provider at ten US nuclear power plants. This followed the discovery of guards sleeping while on the clock.
Death of Jimmy Mubenga
In October 2010, three G4S-guards restrained and held down 46-year old Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga on departing British Airways flight 77, at Heathrow Airport. Security guards kept him restrained in his seat as he began shouting and seeking to resist his deportation. Police and paramedics were called when Mubenga lost consciousness. The aircraft, which had been due to lift off, then returned to the terminal. Mubenga was pronounced dead later that evening at Hillingdon hospital. Passengers reported hearing cries of "don't do this" and "they are trying to kill me." Scotland Yard's homicide unit began an investigation after the death became categorised as "unexplained". Three private security guards, contracted to escort deportees for the Home Office, were released on bail, after having been interviewed about the incident.
In February 2011, The Guardian reported that G4S guards in the United Kingdom had been repeatedly warned about the use of potentially lethal force on detainees and asylum seekers. Confidential informants and several employees released the information to reporters after G4S's practices allegedly led to the death of Jimmy Mubenga. An internal document urged management to "meet this problem head on before the worst happens" and that G4S was "playing Russian roulette with detainees' lives." The following autumn, the company once again faced allegations of abuse. G4S guards were accused of verbally harassing and intimidating detainees with offensive and racist language.
Security lapses at Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratory
On 24 January 2012, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that a Wackenhut security guard slept while on the job at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and had also used an unauthorised mobile telephone while inside the high-security facility. Photographs of the incidents were distributed to the publication, as well as the lab, Wackenhut and the US Department of Energy, which oversees the plant's operations. The facility houses approximately half a ton of Uranium 233, enough for nearly 250 improvised nuclear detonations.
On July 28, 2012 the sole facility in the US for storing enriched uranium, the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory protected by a US subsidiary of G4S, was breached by three protesters, identified as Megan Rice, 82, Michael Walli, 63 and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, who got as far as the outer wall of the uranium building and allegedly daubed it with slogans and splashed it with human blood. The three form the anti-nuclear weapons activist group Transform Now Plowshares, a part of the Plowshares Movement. Operations at the site were suspended following the breach after performance tests were conducted on the Wackenhut Services Inc. Oak Ridge guard force. During the tests, a federal inspector discovered copies of questions and answers for the test inside a guard force vehicle, resulting in the administrative reassignment of the new security director.
Failure to meet London 2012 Security Contract
On 2 June 2012 Sarah Hubble, a member of staff employed by G4S to check applications for staff applying for the 13,000 vacancies, described the process as a shambles which could compromise the safety of athletes and spectators at the Olympic Park. She made claims that vetting staff themselves had not been vetted and that sensitive personal details of applicants were left lying around the office; G4S described the allegations as "false" on 2 June 2012. Subsequently G4S were reported describing the allegations as "inaccurate".
On 12 July 2012 it was announced that 3,500 British troops would be deployed at the 2012 Summer Olympics due to a shortage of adequately trained G4S security staff, with Labour MP Keith Vaz claiming that, "G4S has let the country down and we have literally had to send in the troops." Shares in G4S later dropped 9% after the firm claimed it faced a possible £50 million loss as a result of failing to provide sufficient trained staff for the 2012 Olympic Games. On 17 July, the company's Chief executive, Nick Buckles, appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee, where he apologised for the organisational failings, expressed regret at having taken on the Olympic security contract, and agreed in principle to pay bonuses to soldiers drafted at the last moment as replacement security staff. Pressed by Labour MP David Winnick, he was forced to admit that organisational situation had become a "humiliating shambles."
In Newcastle G4S were replaced by 500 staff from local security firms for Olympic events. In Scotland G4S were stripped of the security role with it passing to Strathclyde Police. At Dorney Lake, the Olympic rowing and canoeing venue, a G4S manager reported G4S radios were not working so staff were relying on personal mobile phones to communicate; G4S confirmed the venue was being manned by military personnel after 66% of rostered G4S staff were failing to show. The venue manager reported parts of the CCTV system had already been replaced by Army patrols and a complete army takeover was "on the cards".
On 22 July 2012 a contractor reported that a third of his expected staff had not turned up; instead he was sent a group of mainly female, teenage students with minimal training, whom he turned away as he did not feel comfortable leaving them for night duties.
Following the Olympics contract failures, the Chief Constables of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire are to recommend abandoning outsourcing work to G4S. They have been backed by Jim Paice, the agriculture minister and Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire.
On 8 August 2012 G4S announced that it had finally contracted enough employees to fully fulfil its contract for the Olympic games. Although missing its initial target of 10,000, G4S announced the sending of 7,000 personnel each day to Olympic venues, in a way they felt would allow them to fully secure each venue.
Unacceptable use of force by UK Border Agency
In October 2012 the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick published his inspection report into the G4S managed Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation UK Border Agency (UKBA). Whilst the majority of the report praised G4S and those working at the centre, noting that "Cedars is an exceptional facility and has many practices which should be replicated in other areas of detention", G4S were criticised for using "non-approved techniques" during one particular incident in which a pregnant woman's wheelchair was tipped up whilst her feet were held. The incident used "non-approved techniques" causing significant risk to the baby and was a "simply not acceptable" use of force. In response, G4S said its staff were trying to prevent injury and that the report also praised the staff for an "exceptional level of care."
See also 
- "Preliminary Results 2012". G4S plc. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Key facts and figures". G4S plc. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "G4S buys into Brazil security market". Financial Times. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Meyerson, Harold (4 March 2009). "Where Are the Workers?". The American Prospect. The American Prospect, Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- "G4S History". G4s.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Falck buys Wackenhut Security". New York Times. 9 March 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Group 4 Falck and Securicor plc announce terms of merger". Findarticles.com. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Focus on G4S". Focusongroup4securicor.org. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- Phillip Inman; David Gow (30 June 2005). "Unions say Group 4 is unfair to workers". The Guardian (UK).
- "Indonesia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005". United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 8 March 2006.
- "Violating Workers' Rights: G4S in Indonesia". Focus on G4S. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "G4S praised by Prime Minister for Union Recognition Agreement with GMB". G4S. 22 June 2006.
- Winkler, Michael (24 March 2009). "G4S guards still on the job, despite the death of Ribs Ward". crikey.com.au,.
- Jackson, Liz (15 June 2009). "Prison van firm under scrutiny after death". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- Alison Chiesa (5 March 2008). "Scots founder sells off pop concert security firm Rock Steady". Theherald.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "G4S plc Acquisition of RONCO Consulting Corporation". G4s.com. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- G4S buys security firm rival ArmorGroup for £43m
- G4S buys GSL in £355m deal
- G4S buys U.S.'s Touchcom for $23 million
- "G4S & UNI sign global agreement". UNI. 16 December 2008.
- "SEIU Reaches Agreement with Wackenhut: Agreement paves way for partnership on mutual goals". SEIU. 16 December 2008.
- Helicopter used in Sweden robbery BBC News
- G4S Security Strike Could Shut Down Court System, United Voices, 9 September 2009
- G4S shares tumble on £5.2bn ISS takeover deal BBC News
- G4S's deal for ISS buckled under the weight of shareholder anger The Telegraph, 1 November 2011
- G4S chief Nick Buckles: 'The ISS deal failure has been one of the most bruising experiences of my life' The Telegraph, 5 November 2011
- Has G4S Security Lost the Plot?, The Telegraph, October 2011
- Guidance Monitoring operation bought by G4S Info4 Security, 27 April 2011
- G4S locks down £17m Chubb deal Insider Media, 24 February 2012
- Kazim Alam (26 August 2012). "G4S Pakistan buyout to be done in two weeks". The Express Tribune.
- "Profile: G4S PLC". Reuters. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "G4S profile". BBC News. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "G4S loses Wolds prison contract". BBC news. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "G4S-run Wolds Prison has clear weaknesses, inspectors find". BBC news. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "G4S services". G4s.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Government's welfare to work scheme launched". BBC News. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011. and provides security to the Job Centre Plus sites.
- Roy Stemman, ed. (November 2010). "Cash Management Outsourcing Making a Difference for Toronto Dominion Bank". G4S Vale Solutions (Essex, UK: G4S). http://www.g4s.fi/~/media/Files/Finland/cdv_valsolns_nov10.ashx.
- United Nations Global Compact
- G4S signs global Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers
- "G4S wins at the Corporate Engagement Awards 2012". Retrieved 2012-10-24.
- "G4S 4Teen". G4ssport.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Union Reports Security Problems at Army Bases". USA Today. 6 September 2005.
- "Security Problems at Homeland Security Headquarters". Common Dreams. 7 March 2006.
- Wackenhut "Security Charged With Shortchanging Liberty Bell Security Officers". PR Newswire. 3 July 2007.
- "Illinois: Security at Nuclear Plants". New York Times. 15 December 2007.
- "Nuke ops halted after protesters enter TN complex". Kansas City Star. 1 August 2012.
- Lewis, Paul; Matthew Taylor (18 October 2010). "Jimmy Mubenga death: three men arrested". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Lewis, Paul; Matthew Taylor (15 October 2010). "Deportation death: 'Jimmy Mubenga was a good man'". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- "G4S Security was Warned of Lethal Risk to Refused Asylum Seekers". The Guardian. 8 February 2011.
- "Security Officers Accused of Racially Abusing Asylum Seekers". The Independent. 6 September 2011.
- "CPS decision on death of Jimmy Mubenga". 17 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
- "Guard Allegedly Found Asleep at Oak Ridge Nuke Facility". Knoxville News Sentinel. 24 January 2012.
- Quigley, Fran (2013-05-15). "How the US Turned Three Pacifists into Violent Terrorists". CommonDreams.org. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- Another G4S nightmare: 82-year-old nun beats guards to break into nuclear facility The Independent, 4 August 2012
- Peter Stockton and Lydia Dennett (10 September 2012). "Cheating on Security Tests at Y-12 is Nothing New". PUBLISHER.
- G4S chosen as official London 2012 Security Services Provider
- Whistleblower sacked after speaking out about G4S cutting corners when vetting security staff | Mail Online
- G4S whistleblower accuses security contractor of shockingly sloppy procedures – Mirror Online
- "Olympics Security not compromised, Theresa May says". BBC News. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "G4S Olympics staff 'failed to arrive' for security work". BBC News. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "London 2012: G4S's Nick Buckles regrets taking contract". BBC online. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "G4S boss admits to 'humiliating shambles' over Olympic security". guardian.co.uk.
- BBC News – London 2012: Queen hails Olympic 'dedication'
- BBC News – Strathclyde Police to control Scots Olympic security
- BBC News – London 2012: Dorney Lake security 'a shambles'
- Judd, Terri (23 July 2012). "G4S shambles revealed in internal report: one operator says he was sent teenage girls to guard a Games venue at night". The Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Chief constables want to abandon G4S scheme BBC, 20 July 2012
- G4S fills Olympic security quota ESPN, 8 August 2012
- "Cedars pre-departure accommodation – an exceptional facility". Ministry of Justice. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
- "G4S used force on pregnant woman at Cedars centre". BBC News. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Public Eye
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