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Four held in child abuse probe after Medway Secure Training Centre claims

Published 13/01/2016

Senior G4S managers were 'appalled' at the revelations in the BBC show
Senior G4S managers were 'appalled' at the revelations in the BBC show

Four men have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect by police investigating allegations of abuse and mistreatment of youngsters at a facility run by private security group G4S.

Kent Police detained the four men on Wednesday following allegations aired on the BBC's Panorama programme this week.

Undercover footage showed staff allegedly mistreating and abusing inmates at Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester, and allegedly boasting about using inappropriate techniques to restrain youngsters.

Other allegations uncovered by the programme included claims that staff tried to hide their actions by ensuring they were beneath CCTV cameras or in areas not covered by them.

A police spokesman said: "The Kent Police investigation was launched following a referral from the Medway Local Authority Designated Officer. The men are all currently in custody at a Kent Police station."

In the wake of the disclosures, G4S sacked four members of staff at the 76-bed centre, which houses young offenders aged 12 to 18.

Three other staff identified in the programme were suspended pending further investigation, and one other person was removed from operational duty as inquiries continue.

G4S said it welcomed the "swift action" by police as lawyers at Leigh Day confirmed they are dealing with a number of inquiries from people alleging abuse relating to Panorama's disclosures.

Paul Cook, managing director for children's services at G4S, said: " There is no place in our business for the conduct shown on the BBC's Panorama programme on Monday night.

"This morning's arrests send a strong message that any allegations of wrongdoing will be thoroughly investigated and we are grateful to the police for their swift action in this case.

"We will work with the police and local authority to keep our own actions under review in light of today's developments.

"We will keep families and other professionals working with young people informed of developments as we are asked to do so. We are committed to a complete review of how this occurred and how we can ensure it doesn't happen again."

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