Group 4 Falck: Influence / Lobbying
- The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is the trade association for the security industry in the UK. Group 4 Falck is among its members.
The BSIA homepage describes its activities:
- 'The BSIA lobbies key organisations/bodies to achieve desirable changes and valuable working partnerships e.g. the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, Association of British Insurers.'
- 'The BSIA is extremely active in liasing with Government to ensure that legislation reflects industry and customer needs. The Association has lobbied for regulation of the security industry for over 15 years, culminating in the introduction of a regulation Bill at the end of 2000.' 13
Several of the bigger security companies are anxious to regulate the industry in ways that make it harder for newcomers to penetrate the sector.
- Ligue Internationale des Sociétés de Surveillance (LISS) - LISS is an international association of private security organisations of which Group 4 Falck is a member. It is represented in a consultative capacity at the United Nations and the EU.14
Influencing research and education
Group 4 Falck is one of the companies expanding into the privatised public education sector. The privatisation of education will have far reaching consequences. See Corporate Crimes for further information.
Links with government
In April 1998, Malcolm Stevens, the senior civil servant responsible for designing the regime of secure training centres for juvenile offenders, started working for Group 4. He now manages all the company's secure training centres (STC) for juveniles.15 The director of the Medway STC is also an advisor to the Youth Justice Board on how to deal with young offenders.
Group 4 has contributed £25,000 to help fund research for the Institute for Public Policy Research, the think-tank that backs New Labours Third Way initiatives.16
However, Group 4 Falck's links with the government in the UK were mainly to the last Conservative government. This was the time during which the privatisation of public services really started and Group 4 was there right from the start.
In March 1990, Norman Fowler, chairman of the Conservative party, joined Group 4 Securitas Ltd as a non- executive director.17
When Norman Fowler resigned from board in 1993, J. Philip-Sorensen commented, “Norman has been a personal friend for over 30 years and I have valued his wise counsel over the years”18. One day after Mr Fowler resigned, Michael Howard announced the second phase of the prison privatisation scheme.19
Barrie Gane, ex-deputy head of MI6, joined Group 4 in June 1993. This was the most senior member of the intelligence service to have joined the private security sector. A Group 4 spokesperson commented “His knowledge of international affairs is particularly useful in the development of our strategy and international growth”20.
In the US, the Wackenhut subsidiary was formed by a former FBI agent, and the company’s middle and upper management is packed with former members of the CIA, FBI, and US military.21 The company has many high profile contracts with the US government, including contracts with NASA.22
In-House Communications Director Nels Petersen Tel.: +45 70 13 43 43 Mobile: +45 20 22 22 72
PR companies that Group 4 have used include Shandwick Consultants to deal with the national media23 and JBP Public Relations 'to handle a major damage limitation exercise for the company's Prison Escort Services Division and the opening of The Wolds, the first privately run prison.'24
13 The British Security Industry Association, www.bsia.co.uk/about.html, viewed 28/4/03. 14 Ligue Internationale des Sociétés de Surveillance, Members, www.security-ligue.org, viewed 28/4/03. 15 Prison Reform Trust (1998) UK: Open door to Group 4, Prison Privatisation Report International, 20, May 1998, www.psiru.org/justice/ppriarchive/ppri20-05-98.asp , viewed 28/4/03; Rebound Youth Justice Services, Rebound Brochure, www.reboundecd.com/pages/reboundbrochure.pdf , viewed 28/4/03. 16 Mathiason, N. (2001) Crime pays handsomely for Britain's private jails, The Observer, 11/3/01. 17 Lynas, M. (1999) Group 4: Cry Freedom, Corporate Watch magazine, 8, www.corporatewatch.org/magazine/issue8/cw8g4.html , viewed 28/4/03. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Rintoul, S. (2002) Detention company’s murky origins, The Australian, 28/12/02, www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,5756510%255E23592,00.html, viewed 18/3/03. 22 Wackenht (2002) Contracts, www.wackenhut.com/services/wsi/contracts.htm , viewed 28/4/03. 23Lynas, M. (1999) Group 4: Cry Freedom, Corporate Watch magazine, 8, www.corporatewatch.org/magazine/issue8/cw8g4.html, viewed 28/4/03. 24JBP Public Relations, Reputation Management, www.jbp.co.uk/reputation_management.cfm, viewed 28/4/03.