G4S & Serco The Power To Arrest?

In a shocking £290M privatisation deal, Serco and G4S – the same two companies who were stripped of contracts for tagging prisoners because a Serious Fraud Office investigation revealed they were charging for tagging people who didn’t exist – are going to be trusted with the handcuffs by the government.

Essentially, the proposals would see G4S staff given the powers of Civilian Enforcement Officers. That is, authorised officers/employees of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service becoming vested with the power to seize and sell goods to recover money owed under fines and community penalty notices, and to execute warrants of arrest, committal, detention and distraint.

The sticking point here is that although much of the recovery and enforcement arms of the Court service has long been outsourced to ‘Authorised’ Enforcement Officers (employees of various other private companies), the line has until now been drawn at outsourcing the power of arrest.

No more.

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