Fraud threat by G4S and Serco 'diminishes justice'

Prison campaigners have said G4S and Serco should be barred from bidding for government business until a major fraud investigation into their practices has been completed.

G4S and Serco have agreed to repay a total of more than £180 million after overcharging taxpayers over tagging. Credit: PA Wire

Both multinationals are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and have agreed to repay a total of more than £180 million after it emerged they had overcharged the taxpayer for electronic tagging of criminals.

More: G4S and Serco stripped of electronic tagging contracts

Two cases that are to be sent to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee include claims that a terminally-ill prisoner was kept waiting in handcuffs for 40 minutes while G4S staff went to a bakery for lunch and allegations that a woman in a Sodexo prison was forced to clean her cell after miscarrying.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "The possibility of systematic fraud of the public purse on a massive scale by profiting companies diminishes justice."

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