Serco staff face fraud probe

Staff at private security giant Serco face a police investigation after the Government uncovered potentially fraudulent behaviour in the management of its £285 million prison escorting contract.

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Shares in Serco plunge more than 13%

Shares in the British outsourcing firm Serco plunged more than 13 percent this morning after revelations by the government about faults with its prisoner escort services.

The share price closed at 606.50p at the end of Wednesday, and plunged to 507.50p at its lowest point today.

The falling share price overshadowed a 10.5 percent rise in pre-tax profits for the first half of this year to £127.1 million.

Read more: Serco staff face fraud probe

Police to investigate Serco over fraud claims

City of London police have been called in to examine private security firm Serco by the Ministry of Justice and the company itself.

Serco faces a police investigation over alleged fraudulent behaviour. Credit: PA

Evidence of potentially fraudulent behaviour emerged as part of audit work announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in July in the wake of an electronic tagging scandal, in which G4S and Serco were both accused of overcharging the Government for monitoring offenders.

The audit findings suggest some Serco staff have been manipulating their performance figures.

Read more: Security firms accused of overcharging millions for tagging criminials


Grayling: Parts of Serco 'totally unacceptable'

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling hit out at private security firm Serco, after potentially fraudulent behaviour emerged in the management of its £285 million prison escorting contract.

It's become very clear there has been a culture within parts of Serco that has been totally unacceptable, and actions which need to be investigated by the police.

We have not seen evidence of systemic malpractice up to board level, but we have been clear with the company - unless it undertakes a rapid process of major change, and becomes completely open with Government about the work it is doing for us, then it will not win public contracts in future.

The taxpayer must know that their money is being properly used.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Prison Reform Trust: Rehabilitation reform 'a disaster'

The Prison Reform Trust said handing "shed loads of money to apparently untrustworthy private companies" as part of the rehabilitation revolution will be "a disaster for the taxpayer and for the criminal justice system."

Staff at private security giant Serco face a police investigation. Credit: REUTERS/Darren Staples

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, continued, "It's not too late for the Ministry of Justice to deliver rehabilitation reform by driving up standards and building on best practice in probation, prison and voluntary services."

Ms Lyon's comments came after it was revealed staff at private security giant Serco face a police investigation into allegations of fraudulent behaviour.

Serco boss 'deeply saddened' and 'appalled' by fraud

The Chief Executive of Serco Group plc said he was "deeply saddened and appalled" to learn of the misreporting of data within the firm.

The Justice Secretary is right to expect the highest standards of performance from Serco. I am deeply saddened and appalled at the misreporting of data by a small number of employees on the contract.

This is a very serious matter for the customer and for us. We will not tolerate any wrongdoing and that is why we have referred this matter to the Police. It is also why I have immediately initiated a programme of change and corporate renewal.

The overwhelming majority of our people work hard every day to deliver important public services and will share my deep concern about this matter.

– Chief executive of Serco Chris Hyman

Serco: Management did not approve misreporting

Private security firm Serco has said that it found no evidence of performance data misreporting taking place with management approval.

A Serco prison van. Credit: n Nicholson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The statement said: "Under the contract Serco is required to deliver defendants to Court, and its performance is measured against the delivery of a defendant being ‘Designated Ready and Available for Court Time’ (DRACT).

"Serco has identified misreporting of DRACT data locally on the PECS contract. The data had been misreported such that the performance reported to the customer was overstated.

"Serco has found no evidence that this misreporting was undertaken with the knowledge or approval of management outside the contract."


Prison escort staff face police investigation for fraud

Staff at private security giant Serco face a police investigation after the Government uncovered potentially fraudulent behaviour in the management of its £285 million prison escorting contract.

A Serco prison van leaving prison. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Serco employees allegedly recorded prisoners as having been delivered ready for court - a key performance measure for the contract - when in fact they were not, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

The contract, which covers prison transfer services in London and East Anglia, has been put under administrative supervision with immediate effect.

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