Jimmy Mubenga’s inquest has shed light on the murky world of the privatised deportation business
A protest against the treatment of Jimmy Mubenga outside the Home Office in London. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian
The inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga uncovered a shocking story of a cruel deportation system, of racism and inhumanity, and of a state seemingly unwilling to prosecute those who abuse and misuse their powers. The verdict of unlawful killing is an honest reflection of the evidence heard.
Mubenga died on 12 October 2010 on a British Airways flight bound for Angola, the country of his birth. He was being deported after being convicted of involvement in a pub fight, his first and only offence. He had been in the UK since 1994, and left behind a wife and five children, all of whom were born in the UK and are now British citizens. A committed family man, he was a regular at the school gates for the children.
Mubenga died a terrifying death while being restrained by three G4S guards in his aeroplane seat, belted and handcuffed behind his back. The restraint up to 40 minutes; this took place in front of passengers and BA crew, but no one intervened or gave first aid. That was left to the London Ambulance Service, who valiantly tried to save his life but by the time they arrived it was too late.
The investigation into his death was bungled from the outset. The guards were taken to Heathrow police station where senior G4S management, including a former Metropolitan chief superintendent, attended. The guards were not questioned but released and taken to a hotel where in the same room, and with senior management present, they wrote up their accounts. These claimed Mubenga had forced himself forward in his seat, causing his own death.
A different story came to light in the Guardian days later. Passengers described Mubenga being forced face forward in his seat by the guards, shouting that he couldn’t breathe, that he was being killed and pleading for help. Pathologists gave evidence that his death was caused by restraint and that you couldn’t “restrain yourself to death”. The matter was passed to the homicide squad. The guards were arrested and on two of their phones extreme racist texts were found. After almost two years the Crown Prosecution Service decided, inexplicably to the family, not to bring charges – the latest in a series of failures to prosecute over deaths in state custody.
At the inquest the reality of the murky private removals industry emerged, where deportations are a business for profit with multimillion-pound contracts. G4S was paid by the hour, and if a deportation failed profits were hit. The guards’ wages were dependent on the hours worked. It was important to “get the job away” and they were given incentives for successful removals.
Deportations could fail if the deportee made too much of a commotion and the pilot asked the guards to get off the plane. So a technique called “carpet karaoke” was developed by guards to silence deportees. They would push a seated and belted deportee forward so that would “sing to the carpet” and their shouts, screams and cries would be muffled. It is a potentially lethal, and illegal, technique as it affects the ability to breathe and was explicitly banned by G4S. The restraint described by passengers pointed to this banned technique, with Mubenga forced forward by guards while in his seat, his voice appearing to be projected downwards and gradually becoming quieter.
G4S no longer has the contract for overseas escorting – though escorts and senior managers remain the same. Before Mubenga’s death, there had already been allegations of ill-treatment, racism, and excessive and dangerous use of force by private security contractors during forced removals. The Home Office is responsible for supervision and oversight of the contracts, so it has questions to answer. There are also concerns arising from the relationship between the state and private companies, with senior employees retiring from one to reappear in the other.
A death such as Jimmy Mubenga’s was waiting to happen. A man died in a public space while all around him people did nothing. Will the response to this inquest bring any change?
Deborah Coles and Mark Scott
The Guardian, Tuesday 9 July 2013 16.05 BST
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Jimmy Mubenga’s inquest has shed light on the murky world of the privatised deportation business
An Angolan man who died after being restrained by three guards from the security firm G4S as he was being deported from Britain was unlawfully killed, a jury ruled, prompting the Crown Prosecution Service to reconsider its decision not to bring criminal charges.
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Jimmy Mubenga, 46, died on board a British Airways flight bound for Angola in October 2010. At the end of an eight-week inquest, the jury recorded a majority verdict of nine to one of unlawful killing after four days of deliberations.
The decision prompted an emotional response from Mr Mubenga’s wife, Adrienne Makenda Kambana, who had been living with her late husband in Ilford, east London, after arriving in the UK from Angola in 1994. Outside the court she said that Mr Mubenga had been treated “worse than an animal” on the flight. She called for deportations to be better monitored.
She added: “Someone walked onto a plane feeling fine and came out of the plane dead. How can my family live with this pain?”
During the inquest, the jury heard that Mr Mubenga had been calling out for help as the three guards – Stuart Tribelnig, Terry Hughes and Colin Kaler – restrained him for nearly half an hour. Several passengers said they heard him shouting that he could not breathe and that he was crying out: “They’re going to kill me.”
In evidence, the guards claimed they had not heard Mr Mubenga remarking he was unable to breathe and insisted he had been resting his head on the seat in front and intermittently forcing it down towards his knees as he was being restrained.
But counsel for Mr Mubenga’s family, Henry Blaxland QC, suggested that the guards had been trying to “teach Mubenga a lesson”. He said the trio had been pushing his head down in an attempt to keep him quiet and fabricated the story that he was doing it himself.
The inquest heard the three guards were subsequently arrested “on suspicion of criminal offences” relating to Mr Mubenga’s death, but last year – 21 months after his death – the CPS decided not to press charges and no further action was taken.
G4S maintained that its staff were “trained… and vetted to the standards defined by strict Home Office guidelines”. A spokeswoman added: “The death of anyone in our care is deeply felt by all of us and the death of Mr Mubenga was a very tragic event.
“The welfare of those in our care is always our top priority and we take great care to ensure that our employees on this contract, which has been carried out by another provider since November 2011, were made aware of their responsibilities in this respect.”
Scotland Yard said a thorough and complex 21-month investigation was carried out by its Homicide and Serious Crime Command into Mr Mubenga’s death. During the inquiry, more than 300 witness statements were taken from passengers, cabin crew, ground staff and first responders from the emergency services.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Mubenga’s family. We are very clear that we expect the highest standards of integrity and behaviour from all of our contractors.”
Tuesday 09 July 2013
Find this story at 9 July 2013
Angolan man died after being restrained by G4S guards on deportation flight from UK
Jimmy Mubenga was heard shouting that he could not breathe before he died, according to passengers on the flight. Photograph: Graeme Robertson
An Angolan man who died after being restrained by three G4S guards as he was being deported from the UK was unlawfully killed, a jury has found.
Jimmy Mubenga, 46, died on board a plane at Heathrow airport that was bound for Angola in October 2010. At the end of an eight-week inquest, a jury of seven men and three women recorded a majority verdict of nine to one of unlawful killing after four days of deliberations.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it would reconsider its original decision not to bring criminal charges in the wake of the verdict.
The inquest heard that Mubenga had been calling out for help as the three guards – Stuart Tribelnig, Terry Hughes and Colin Kaler – heavily restrained him for more than half an hour. Several passengers said they heard him shouting that he could not breathe and that he was crying out: “They’re going to kill me.”
Returning the verdict of unlawful killing, the jury foreman said: “Based on the evidence we have heard, we find that Mr Mubenga was pushed or held down by one or more of the guards, causing his breathing to be impeded. We find that they were using unreasonable force and acting in an unlawful manner. The fact that Mr Mubenga was pushed or held down, or a combination of the two, was a significant, that is more than minimal, cause of death.
“The guards, we believe, would have known that they would have caused Mr Mubenga harm in their actions, if not serious harm. We believe that Mr Mubenga died in his seat … before the paramedics boarded the plane.”
The inquest heard that as the plane began to taxi on to the runway the guards said Mubenga became tired and stopped shouting. The guards said they realised something was wrong and the plane returned to the stand and paramedics were called. Mubenga was pronounced dead a short time later.
Outside the court Mubenga’s widow, Adrienne Makenda Kambana, said her late husband had been treated “worse than an animal” on the flight. Calling him a good man and a loving husband, she called for deportations to be better monitored. “He is a big gap in the family. We are going to miss him. We are not going to forget him.”
In evidence, the guards claimed they had not heard Mubenga saying he could not breathe and insisted he had been resting his head on the seat in front and intermittently forcing it down towards his knees as he was being restrained – a position known to carry a risk of death by asphyxia.
But counsel for Mubenga’s family, Henry Blaxland QC, suggested to Hughes that the guards had been trying to “teach Mubenga a lesson”. He said the three guards had been pushing Mubenga’s head down in an attempt to keep him quiet and had only “come up with” the story that Mubenga was forcing his own head down to explain what passengers on the plane would have seen.
The inquest heard the three guards were subsequently arrested “on suspicion of criminal offences” relating to Mubenga’s death, but last year – 21 months after his death – the CPS decided not to press charges and no further action was taken.
During the hearing it emerged that two of the guards – Hughes and Tribelnig – had a string of racist “jokes” on their phone. Hughes’s phone had 65 texts containing what the coroner Karon Monaghan QC said contained “very racially offensive material”.
A G4S spokesman said: “The death of anyone in our care is deeply felt by all of us and the death of Mr Mubenga was a very tragic event.
“The welfare of those in our care is always our top priority and we take great care to ensure that our employees on this contract, which has been carried out by another provider since November 2011, were made aware of their responsibilities in this respect. Our employees were also trained, screened and vetted to the standards defined by strict Home Office guidelines.
“We believe that at all times we acted appropriately and in full compliance with the terms of our contract with UKBA and it should be noted that the Crown Prosecution Service found no basis on which to bring criminal charges against G4S in this case.
“It would not be appropriate for us to comment on behalf of our former employees, who were separately represented throughout these proceedings.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Mubenga’s family. We are very clear that we expect the highest standards of integrity and behaviour from all of our contractors.”
There has been widespread concern about the way people are removed from the UK, with repeated allegations of mistreatment and assaults of detainees. The contract is now run by Tascor, and current guards who have spoken to the Guardian say there is still inadequate training for new recruits. One who did not want to be named said a number of detainees had been punched and assaulted by guards on a recent charter flight to Lagos.
A spokesman for Tascor said it could not comment on anonymous claims, but added that it focused on “delivering a professional service to its clients while ensuring its methods of operations are compliant with the relevant statutory regulations”.
Matthew Taylor, Paul Lewis and Guy Grandjean
theguardian.com, Tuesday 9 July 2013 14.58 BST
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Inquest hears jokes deriding blacks, Asians and Muslims when G4S officers are asked to read from their mobile phones
Jimmy Mubenga with his wife Adrienne. He died while being restrained on an aircraft as G4S officers were trying to deport him. Photograph: PA
A G4S security guard who was restraining an Angolan man who died as he was being deported from the UK had 65 racist jokes on his mobile phone when it was seized by police.
Terry Hughes, one of three detention custody officers in charge of Jimmy Mubenga’s forced deportation in October 2010, was told at an inquest at Isleworth crown court on Friday to read out a selection of the texts, which included offensive language directed at black, Asian and Muslim people.
Karon Monaghan QC, the assistant deputy coroner for Hammersmith, west London, said the texts contained “very racially offensive material”. The court heard that some of the texts had been sent by other detention custody officers.
Hughes is the second G4S officer involved in Mubenga’s case to be found with racist jokes on his mobile phone. This week, Stuart Tribelnig was found to have a string of texts deriding black, Pakistani and Muslim men.
When questioned in court, Hughes and Tribelnig said they had not read all the texts, although both had forwarded some of the material. They also said they did not know how to or never bothered to delete texts from their phones. Hughes said that, although the texts suggested “a great deal of racial hostility”, he was not at all racially hostile.
Mubenga, 46, died on a plane at Heathrow as it waited on the runway. He had been restrained by three G4S officers – Hughes, Tribelnig and Colin Kaler – for about 35 minutes.
The Angolan had been in the UK since 1994 and lived in London with his family. He was convicted of actual bodily harm in 2006, and a decision was taken to deport him at the end of his sentence. By September 2010 the appeals process had expired. Two weeks later he boarded the plane at Heathrow, at about 7.30pm, accompanied by the three G4S guards.
Once on the plane he was allowed to go to the toilet and use a mobile phone. The guards said he had acted as a gentleman up to that point. However, the jury was told that shortly afterwards he began a struggle in an attempt to get the deportation cancelled.
Hughes described how the three guards had tried to restrain him by using handcuffs and forcing him to sit in his seat. He said Mubenga at some stages had his head below the level of the television screen on the back of the chair in front, but insisted it was Mubenga himself who had forced his body into that position, one that is known to carry the danger of asphyxiation.
Hughes told the court Mubenga was shouting thoughout the restraint although he could not remember what Mubenga was saying. But in an earlier police interview read out in court he had said: “All the time Jimmy is shouting and screaming, ‘They are killing me – I am going to my death’.” After hearing the statement, Hughes accepted that Mubenga “must have been shouting that”.
Henry Blaxland QC, representing Mubenga’s family, asked Hughes whether Mubenga had complained about being unable to breathe during the struggle and whether one of the guards had replied: “If you cannot breathe how can you talk?”
Hughes said he did not remember that exchange taking place.
Blaxland asked if Hughes and the other guards had been trying to “teach Mubenga a lesson” after he had betrayed their trust by starting the struggle on the aircraft.
Hughes denied the allegation and also denied that any of the guards had pushed Mubenga’s head down during the struggle, insisting that Mubenga forced his own head down.
But Blaxland asked Hughes if he and the other guards had “come up with this” to explain what passengers on the plane might have seen: “Were you trying to come up with an explanation for what you thought people would have seen – a man bent double in his seat?”
“No sir,” replied Hughes.
Blaxland said the truth was that the guards had been pushing Mubenga down. Hughes again replied: “No sir.”
The struggle between the guards and Mubenga continued for more than half an hour before Mubenga went quiet and Hughes thought he had become “resigned” to returning to Angola.
However, he said the guards realised something was wrong before the plane took off and raised the alarm. The plane taxied back to the terminal stand, where emergency teams were called.
Mubenga was pronounced dead some time later.
In court Hughes broke down as he recalled the moment, that evening, when police told him Mubenga had died, and the inquest had to be suspended.
He was asked by counsel for Mubenga’s family if he had been crying because he knew he had caused the death. He replied: “Not at all, sir, no.”
The three guards were subsequently arrested “on suspicion of criminal offences” relating to Mubenga’s death. However, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to press charges and no further action was taken.
The inquest, which is due to last eight weeks, continues.
The Guardian, Friday 17 May 2013 16.14 BST
Find this story at 17 May 2013
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BA long-haul pilot tells Guardian it was a mistake to keep Mubenga on board once he began struggling with his escorts
Jimmy Mubenga died during deportation from the UK. Photograph: Graeme Robertson
The use of commercial aircraft to transport deportees has been called into question by a British Airways pilot following the death of Jimmy Mubenga.
A BA long-haul pilot told the Guardian that it was a mistake to keep Mubenga on board a passenger service once he began struggling with his escorts. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the pilot said that the prospect of restraining a passenger for the duration of a nine-hour flight would have been unacceptable to senior crew.
“We are legally responsible for safety, security and good order on board our aircraft. We must act if any of those are at risk. If the passenger is not accepting the situation he has been placed in, then a scheduled passenger aircraft is clearly not an appropriate method of transport. Besides, you cannot hold someone in their seat for eight to nine hours down to Luanda, and you certainly cannot restrain them for eight to nine hours.”
A BA spokesperson said the airline was obliged to carry deportees under the 1971 Immigration Act if the Home Office requested it. “Like all airlines, we must comply with the UK deportation law under the 1971 Immigration Act.” Virgin Atlantic and BMI have also transported deportees this year, while in 2009 nearly 2,000 people were deported on charter flights to destinations including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
The government has spent more than £100m on flights deporting failed asylum seekers, foreign nationals and immigration offenders in the last five years. In 2008-9 alone, £8.2m was spent on chartered flights and £18.6m on scheduled flights – a total of £26.8m and up from £20.4m the previous year.
According to BA guidelines on carrying deportees, Mubenga should have been treated as a normal passenger unless he was under restraint. The guidelines state: “If the deportee is under restraint, then the rules relating to prisoners apply, otherwise, in most other respects, deportees should be treated as normal passengers.”
If Mubenga was not under restraint when he was escorted on to the aircraft on Tuesday night then he could have been classified as a passenger. However, according to one eyewitness handcuffs were used by G4S security guards to restrain him while the aircraft was still on the ground. BA guidelines state: “Physical restraint of a passenger can be applied only on the express instructions of the captain and only whilst airborne. The captain has the duty and the legal authority to order physical restraint when, in his judgment, it is essential to preserve the safety of the aircraft, the crew or other passengers.”
The guidelines for prisoners, or for deportees who are under restraint as they board, state that the prisoner should not be served alcohol and must be seated “off the aisle, near a toilet and, if handcuffed, away from emergency exits.”
The Guardian, Friday 15 October 2010 20.08 BST
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Equalities watchdog says it will investigate the operations, with one member of the public saying it was akin to ‘Nazi Germany’
The Home Office faces investigation by the equalities watchdog over stop-and-check operations condemned by new Labour peer Doreen Lawrence.
The Independent revealed today that officials had conducted a series of “racist and intimidatory” spot checks to search for illegal immigrants in the wake of the Government’s “go home or face arrest” campaign.
Officers wearing stab vests conducted random checks near stations in the London suburbs of Walthamstow, Kensal Green, Stratford and Cricklewood over the past three days. Nationwide, more than 130 alleged “immigration offenders” have been arrested including in Durham, Manchester and Somerset.
Speaking this morning Mrs Lawrence said: “Why would you focus mainly on people of colour?
”I’m sure there’s illegal immigrants from all countries, but why would you focus that on people of colour, and I think racial profiling is coming into it.“
The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, asked if the spot-checks were a cause for her to take up in her new role in the House of Lords, replied: ”Definitely so.“
Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, said she had received reports from constituents who had been stopped at around 7am yesterday outside the train station by a team of around a dozen Home Office officials.
“I’ve been told they were only stopping people who looked Asian or African and not anyone who was white,” she said. “This kind of fishing expedition in public place is entirely unacceptable. I will not have my constituents treated in such a manner.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is now set to look into what happened, as well as the Government’s controversial poster van warning immigrants of the risk of staying in Britain illegally.
A spokesman said: ”The Commission is writing today to the Home Office about these reported operations, confirming that it will be examining the powers used and the justification for them, in order to assess whether unlawful discrimination took place.
“The letter will also ask questions about the extent to which the Home Office complied with its public sector equality duty when planning the recent advertising campaign targeted at illegal migration.”
The Home Office denied that its raids were connected to the “go home” vans. However, officials could provide no evidence of similar “random searches” taking place in the past.
Onlookers described their shock at the operations, with one member of the public saying it was akin to “Nazi Germany”. The Labour MP Barry Gardiner had written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, demanding an investigation into the checks which he said violated “fundamental freedoms”. The raids come just a few months after Ms May took direct responsibility for immigration from the disbanded UK Border Agency.
“We do not yet live in a society where the police or any other officers of the law are entitled to detain people without reasonable justification and demand their papers,” Mr Gardiner wrote. “The actions of your department would however appear to be hastening us in that direction.”
Witnesses who saw the operations in London claimed the officers stopped only non-white individuals, and in Kensal Green said that when questioned, the immigration officials became aggressive.
Phil O’Shea told the Kilburn Times: “They appeared to be stopping and questioning every non-white person, many of whom were clearly ordinary Kensal Green residents going to work. When I queried what was going on, I was threatened with arrest for obstruction and was told to ‘crack on’.”
Another witness, Matthew Kelcher, said: “Even with the confidence of a free-born Englishman who knows he has nothing to hide, I found this whole experience to be extremely intimidating. They said they were doing random checks, but a lot of people who use that station are tourists so I don’t know what message that sends out to the world.”
The Home Office said a Ukrainian woman aged 33, an Indian man aged 44 and a 59-year-old Brazilian woman had been detained as part of the checks at Kensal Green. At Walthamstow Central station, immigration officials arrested 14 people after officers questioned people to check if they were in the UK illegally.
Christine Quigley tweeted: “Sounds like UKBA checkpoint today in Walthamstow only stopping minority ethnic people. FYI UKBA – not all British people are white.”
In Stratford, photographs posted on Twitter appeared to show Home Office officials talking to men of Asian origin. The Home Office said a Bangladeshi man had been arrested on suspected immigration offences. In Cricklewood on Tuesday in a joint operation with the Met, more than 60 people were questioned near the railway station. Police said three men were arrested for “immigration matters”, and 27 men received notices requiring them to surrender at Eaton House immigration centre for further investigation.
Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said he believed that there was no coincidence between the “go home or face arrest” van and the new random checks in Kensal Green. “I am sure it is probably connected and it leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth,” he said. “These so-called spot checks are not only intimidating but they are also racist and divisive. It appears from speaking to people who witnessed what happened in Kensal Green that it was only black and Asian-looking people who were asked to prove their identity. What about the white Australians and New Zealanders who may have overstayed their visas?”
Oliver Wright, Adam Withnall
Friday, 2 August 2013
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Controversial firm saw income from UK taxpayer rise by 20% last year
Company earned £394million in 2012-13, up from £328.5million
Labour MP Barry Sheerman warns of over-reliance on private contractors
Controversial security firm G4S has enjoyed a 20 per cent surge in government contracts despite a string of blunders, new figures show.
The company – which failed to recruit enough guards for the London Olympics – earned £394million from the taxpayer in 2012-13, up from £328.5million a year earlier.
The revelation sparked claims it was becoming the ‘private army’ of the state.
Security: The controversial firm G4S has seen a 20 per cent increase in its income from the UK government, raising fears of an over-reliance on a ‘private army’
With just weeks before the London Olympics opened in July last year, G4S admitted it would not be able to provide the thousands of guards it had promised.
Its reputation was severely damaged when 3,500 troops were called in to provide security at the biggest events.
In the wake of the debacle MPs called on the government to think again before awarding more lucrative contracts to the firm.
But it seems to have done little to dent its reputation in Whitehall, and next week it will provide security guarding the world’s most powerful men and women at the G8 summit at Lough Erne.
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Labour MP Barry Sheerman, who obtained the figures on government spending with G4S, said he was worried about an increasing over-reliance on a small number of companies.
He warned: ‘The trouble is a lot of contractors are in a monopoly. They do seem to be swelling up and getting bigger and bigger and we are getting to the stage where the over-reliance on one company troubles you.
‘I am becoming increasingly worried about the monopoly position that G4S have in security services.
‘They are becoming the private army of Her Majesty’s Government. There is something going on that I think we need to shine a spotlight on.’
Blunder: The army had to be called in for the London Olympics after G4S failed to recruit enough guards last summer
Nick Buckles, who last month quit as G4S chief executive, admitted the Olympic security contract had been a ‘humiliating shambles’ for the company but Labour MP Barry Sheerman (right), who obtained the figures, warned of a few firms having a monopoly on state contracts
Most of the hike in Government spending on G4S contracts was down to an extra £51 million spent by the Ministry of Justice on contracts with the company.
A spokesman for the department said the increase was down to G4S being given contracts to run prisons at Birmingham and Oakwood, as well as managing the facilities of a large part of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service.
The Department for Work and Pensions more than doubled its spend on G4S contracts – up from nearly £13.8 million to more than £32.1 million.
G4S: A HISTORY OF BLUNDERS
The UK-based security firm traces its roots back to a guarding company founded in Denmark in 1901.
G4S was formed when Group 4 merged with Securicor in 2004. The company has a long record of blunders including:
In 1993 Group 4 became the first private company to run prisoner escort services,m and lost seven inmates in three weeks
A year later a hunger striker escaped from Campsfield House detention centre, guarded by Group 4
In 1997 it emerged the firm had transferred a prisoner between two vans on a petrol station forecourt
Three prisoners escaped from Peterborough Crown Court in 2001
In 2011, G4S staff lost a set of cell keys just days after taking over Birmingham Prison Workers put an electronic tag on criminal Christopher Lowcock’s artificial limb
In 2012 the firm failed to train enough guards for the London Games which meant 3,500 soldiers had to be recalled from leave
In March this year a G4S guard at Heathrow ordered Royal Navy engineer Nicky Howse to change out of her uniform before flying to the US because it was ‘offensive’
A contract awarded to G4S for the Government’s Work Programme accounted for the increase, Employment Minister Mark Hoban said in his answer to Mr Sheerman’s question.
The figures do not include spending by the Department for Communities and Local Government which has not yet answered the MP’s question.
Mr Sheerman said it was ‘amazing’ that so much was being spent on G4S when it was failing to pay Olympic subcontractors that were ‘not complicit in the debacle’ of the company’s handling of security at London 2012.
‘I thought it was amazing that such an amount is being spent on one major contractor, also at a time when we still know that G4S have failed to pay subcontractors who have worked for them on the Olympic site,’ Mr Sheerman said.
He said some small and medium-sized businesses who worked on the Olympic site were made to subcontract to G4S by Locog, but now have not been paid.
‘I don’t know why they haven’t paid them, it is just bad principles,’ he said.
‘They were told at one stage in the development they were running the logistics and security of the athlete’s village.
‘Once that was finished they became subcontractors and told to be subcontractors to G4S.
‘One would have thought Locog would have leaned on G4S to do the honourable thing to the subcontractors.
‘They were not complicit in the debacle that occurred when the army came in.’
Kim Challis, G4S CEO of government and outsourcing solutions, said: ‘We have been working with the UK government for more than two decades, delivering the highest levels of service and under a high degree of monitoring and oversight.
‘We have won every contract we have been awarded by bidding in a highly competitive environment, based on delivering an effective service for the best deal for the taxpayer, with a number of providers challenging for the work.
‘We have a strong track record of delivering for our UK Government customers and are proud of the service our 11,000 employees provide to them, and the general public, every single day.’
Former G4S company boss Nick Buckles, who admitted the London 2012 contract had been a ‘humiliating shambles, last month quit his £1.2million-a-year role as chief executive.
He clung on to his job in the immediate aftermath of the Olympics debacle but the firm’s reputation suffered badly and in recent weeks poor trading caused shares to slump by more than 13 per cent in one day.
This month, G4S’s AGM was interrupted by protesters making reference to Jimmy Mubenga – an Angolan man who died while being deported from the UK by G4S guards.
In July last year, prosecutors said they would be taking no action against the three G4S staff over the death.
By Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor
PUBLISHED: 12:36 GMT, 12 June 2013 | UPDATED: 08:42 GMT, 13 June 2013
Find this story at 13 June 2013
© Associated Newspapers Ltd
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has given a vote of confidence to embattled British security firm G4S, despite a recent profit warning and ongoing controversy over the company’s Israeli prison contracts and the death of an Angolan man.
The US tech titan’s private investment vehicle, Cascade Investment, and his high-profile charitable fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, poured an extra £16m into G4S stock on Thursday, to increase their joint stake in the security giant to 3.2pc. The total holding is now worth around £110m.
Mr Gates’ endorsement will come as welcome relief following a year blighted by the company’s failure to supply enough security staff for the London Olympics. The fiasco eventually claimed the scalp of chief executive Nick Buckles, but only after a difficult first quarter in Europe prompted the company to issue a profits warning in May.
Last week, board members endured a stormy annual meeting, at which they faced repeated questions over three Israeli prison contracts in occupied Palestine and the death of Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga in 2010. Despite protests, G4S’ new chief executive Mr Almanza insisted at the fraught meeting that an independent study concluded that the company had not breached any aspect of “international humanitarian law”.
But this would not be the first time the $36.4bn Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest of its kind, has invested in a company that has faced fierce public criticism. The charitable trust holds stakes in BP and Exxon Mobil, which have both come under fire over catastrophic oil spills.
Mr Gates also has a history of investing in British companies, including Carpetright, Diageo and JJB Sports.
“The best guess would be that given the changes that have taken place at G4S over the past year, it’s probably an opportunity for G4S to set out a clear path,” said Steve Woolf, support services analyst at Numis.
“The underlying business is still very good. The share price has been quite beleaguered over the past 12 months. Now there is a chance to begin again and reinforce the core strategy.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was established by Mr Gates and his wife in 2000 with the goal of eradicating poverty and combating the world’s deadliest diseases.
By Denise Roland
4:29PM BST 10 Jun 2013
Find this story at 10 June 2013
© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2013
“Leden van etnische minderheden zijn oververtegenwoordigd in de criminaliteitsstatistieken. In Nederland is veel onderzoek gedaan naar verklaringen voor het criminele gedrag van leden van etnische minderheden. Er is daarentegen nauwelijks aandacht besteed aan de mogelijkheid dat de oververtegenwoordiging een weerspiegeling is van selectief politieoptreden. Ik stelde daarom de vraag welke factoren van invloed zijn op de keuzes die politiemensen maken met betrekking tot het staande houden van burgers, een praktijk waarin selectief politieoptreden het duidelijkst op te merken is, en of deze selectiviteit mogelijk een verklaring is van de oververtegenwoordiging van etnische minderheden in de criminaliteitscijfers.”
Bovenstaande passage komt uit de afstudeerscriptie “Een verdacht profiel, selectief politieoptreden in Veenendaal”. Etnisch profileren binnen het politie en justitie apparaat lijkt steeds meer aandacht te krijgen. Lijkt omdat in de jaren negentig ook al onderzoek werd gedaan naar het selectieve optreden van de politie. Hier een overzicht van de afstudeerscripties en rapporten uit binnen- en buitenland. Niet al het onderzoek is opgenomen. Veel theoretisch werk wordt niet gepresenteerd, alleen een overzichtsartikel en een literatuurstudie. De scripties en rapporten gaan over de praktijk van de politie.
In de afgelopen twee jaar worden in de chique buurten van Haarlem tientallen zwarte schoonmaaksters en klusjesmannen opgepakt. De vreemdelingenpolitie krijgt een tip van busmaatschappij Connexxion. Die heeft last van zwartrijders. In een aantal gevallen blijkt het te gaan om illegale vreemdelingen. De politie volgt zwarte mensen op weg van de bushalte naar hun werk om ze op heterdaad te kunnen betrappen op illegale arbeid. Maar volgens de rechter mag dat niet. De politie mag mensen niet op grond van hun huidskleur volgen en om hun papieren vragen.
Lees ook het nieuwsbericht: Vreemdelingenpolitie Kennemerland negeert rechterlijke uitspraken
We krijgen eind september informatie waaruit blijkt dat politie Kennemerland toch doorgaat met de aanhoudingen. We onderzoeken of de vreemdelingenpolitie zich houdt aan de uitspraak van de rechter.
In het tijdperk van de tweeverdieners, hebben steeds meer gezinnen een schoonmaakhulp. Volgens een recente schatting van de FNV zijn er daar zo’n 150 duizend van in ons land. Het merendeel van de schoonmakers is van buitenlandse afkomst. Veel van hen zijn illegaal. Ze mogen niet werken en als ze worden aangehouden worden ze het land uitgezet. Ze zijn continu bang om opgepakt te worden.
In ZEMBLA vertellen twee van de in de omgeving van Haarlem opgepakte schoonmakers over hun aanhouding. Emily werd in juni 2011 aangehouden in Heemstede: ‘De politieman vertelde me dat veel zwarte mensen zonder vergunning werken. Ik zei: ‘Niet alle.’ Hij zei: ‘De meeste.’
Joseph werd in maart 2010 opgepakt in Overveen: ‘Ze zeiden: ‘Jij gaat terug naar Afrika.’ Hij was aan het lachen: ‘Jullie Afrikanen, jullie komen hier maar, betalen geen belasting, allemaal zwart werk.’
De vreemdelingenpolitie is aan strenge regels gebonden bij het aanhouden van Illegalen. Professor van Walsum, hoogleraar migratierecht aan de VU: ‘De politie mag niet zomaar iedereen in het wilde weg aanhouden en naar hun papieren vragen. Er moet wel sprake zijn van een gerechtvaardigd vermoeden van illegaal verblijf.’ Professor Staring, bijzonder hoogleraar Mobiliteit aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam: ‘Je zit natuurlijk al heel snel op het terrein van racisme, discriminatie, ethnic profiling zoals dat genoemd wordt, en dus willekeur ook. Dus je kunt niet zomaar iemand aanhouden op basis van huidskleur.’
De hoogste rechter, de Raad van State, maakt in juli vorig jaar korte metten met deze methode van de vreemdelingenpolitie in de dure buurten rond Haarlem. ZEMBLA ontdekt dat ondanks de uitspraak van de Raad van State in juli vorig jaar, de vreemdelingenpolitie doorgaat.
Research: Marieke van Santen
Samenstelling en regie: Sander Rietveld
Eindredactie: Manon Blaas
Disclosure in first report of prisons inspector on UK Border Agency’s ‘family-friendly’ Cedars unit near Gatwick
G4S staff manage security and the facilities at Cedars, the UK Border Agency’s holding centre near Gatwick for families facing deportation. Photograph: David Jones/PA
A pregnant woman in a wheelchair was tipped up and had her feet held by staff from G4S, the firm behind the Olympics security shambles, as she was forcibly removed from the country. The disclosure comes in the first report into conditions at a new centre designed to hold families facing deportation from the UK.
Nick Hardwick, the chief inspector of prisons, and his team made an unannounced inspection of Cedars, the UK Border Agency’s new pre-departure accommodation near Gatwick, where families are housed for the final 72 hours before they are removed from the UK.
Nick Clegg promised in the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 manifesto that he would put an end to the detention of children. Replacing the controversial Yarl’s Wood detention centre with Cedars was at the heart of the coalition’s family-friendly removal policy.
Hardwick said the unit is “an exceptional facility [which] has many practices which should be replicated in other areas of detention.”
“It is to the considerable credit of staff at Cedars that children held were, in general, happily occupied and that parents were able to concentrate on communication with solicitors, family and friends,” he added.
But inspectors also said unacceptable force was used when a pregnant woman was given a wheelchair in the departures area. When she resisted “substantial force” was used by G4S staff and the wheelchair “was tipped up with staff holding her feet”.
“At one point she slipped down from the chair and the risk of injury to the unborn child was significant,” the report said. “There is no safe way to use force against a pregnant woman, and to initiate it for the purpose of removal is to take an unacceptable risk.”
Inspectors also reported that although most work from family escort staff was commendable, they “observed unprofessional behaviour by an officer on a different escort in the hearing of children”.
The report also said that although “considerable efforts were made to avoid force at the point of removal, it had been used against six of the 39 families going through Cedars”.
Judith Dennis, policy officer at the Refugee Council, said: “The numbers of children in detention are increasing. The government acknowledged then how harmful this practice is for children, so why are they still continuing to do it?
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 October 2012
Find this story at 23 October 2012
© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Die EU-Polizeiagentur Europol soll mehr Kompetenzen für eigene Ermittlungen erhalten. Im November will die EU-Kommission einen Vorschlag über die zukünftige Aufgaben, Struktur und Arbeitsweise vorlegen
Früher galt die EU-Grenzschutzagentur Frontex als die “Kleine Schwester” Europols: Die Polizeiagentur wurde offiziell 1999 gegründet, während die EU-Migrationsabwehr erst seit 2004 am Start ist. Doch was die Kompetenzen angeht, ist Frontex längst vorgeprescht. Jetzt soll Europol aufholen: Zur Debatte steht der Ausbau von Datensammlungen, das Einleiten von Ermittlungen und ein stärkeres Vorgehen auch gegen unerwünschte Migration. Die gleichzeitig anvisierte Ausweitung der parlamentarischen Kontrolle bleibt wohl marginal.
Bis zum Lissabon-Vertrag galt Europol als zwischenstaatliche Einrichtung der sogenannten “Dritten Säule” zur polizeilichen und justiziellen Zusammenarbeit in Strafsachen, in der die EU keine eigenen Beschlüsse fassen konnte. Mit dem seit 1. Januar 2010 gültigen neuen Europol-Beschluss ist die Behörde in den Rechtsrahmen der EU überführt worden und wird aus dem Gesamtbudget der EU finanziert (Europol in der dritten Generation). Die Aufgabenbereiche wurden im Vertrag von Lissabon als Bekämpfung der “schweren Kriminalität, des Terrorismus und der Kriminalitätsformen, die ein gemeinsames Interesse verletzen” sehr weitgehend definiert. Voraussetzung ist immer, dass zwei oder mehr Mitgliedstaaten betroffen sind. Jedoch dürfen polizeiliche Zwangsmaßnahmen ausschließlich von den Behörden der Mitgliedstaaten vorgenommen werden.
Derzeit arbeitet Europol mit 17 Nicht-EU-Staaten, neun EU-Organen und -Agenturen sowie drei weiteren internationalen Organisationen, darunter Interpol, zusammen. Rechtlich problematisch sind die unterschiedlichen Datenschutzstandards der beteiligten Länder. Europol verhandelt beispielsweise auch mit Israel, Albanien, Bosnien, Kolumbien und Russland über eine Partnerschaft (Europol will mehr Datentausch mit Israel). Im Falle Israels würde beim Abschluss eines Abkommens formal auch die Siedlungspolitik der Regierung in Tel Aviv anerkannt – und damit die bislang vertretene, ablehnende Position des Rates der Europäischen Union untergraben.
Unterstützung bei der Aufrechterhaltung der “öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung”?
Im Arbeitsprogramm für 2012 werden ehrgeizige Pläne artikuliert: Europol will “polizeilicher Hauptansprechpartner” für Strafverfolgungsbehörden der EU und “Drehscheibe für polizeiliche Informationen” werden. Dennoch ist die Behörde vergleichsweise klein: Vor zwei Jahren waren dort 662 Mitarbeiter angestellt. Die Bundesregierung erläutert, dass sich die Zahl nicht nur auf das Vertragspersonal der Agentur bezieht. Einbezogen seien demnach auch Personen in den Verbindungsbüros der EU-Mitgliedstaaten bei Europol (ca. 125) sowie aus den EU-Mitgliedstaaten entsandte Sachverständige. Deutschland stellt 39 Mitarbeiter, darunter 13 aus dem Bundeskriminalamt. Im deutschen Verbindungsbüro bei Europol arbeiten weitere acht Mitarbeiter und vier Sachverständige.
Laut dem Jahresabschluss von 2010 hat Europol die zuständigen Behörden in den Mitgliedstaaten in 11.738 grenzüberschreitenden Fällen unterstützt. Dies entspräche gegenüber 2009 einer Steigerung von 12%. In über 150 “bedeutenden grenzüberschreitenden Ermittlungen” habe das Amt “analytische und operative Unterstützung” geleistet. 35% der Operationen betrafen “Drogenvergehen”.
Doch die Polizeiagentur hat weitaus Größeres vor: Zukünftig könnte Europol den Mitgliedstaaten sogar bei der Aufrechterhaltung der “öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung” assistieren. So jedenfalls ist es in einem Debattenbeitrag der derzeitigen dänischen Ratspräsidentschaft niedergelegt. Gleichzeitig soll die Zusammenarbeit mit den anderen zehn EU-Agenturen im Bereich Justiz und Inneres intensiviert werden: Die Grenzschutzagentur wünscht, dass Europol beim Erstellen der sogenannten “Risikoanalysen” zu unerwünschter Migration aushilft.
Auch mit der Agentur zur Betrugsbekämpfung (OLAF), der Europäischen Polizeiakademie (CEPOL), der Grundrechteagentur (FRA) und dem EU-Geheimdienst (SitCen) soll Europol stärker kooperieren. Das Gleiche gilt für die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (ESDP): Die Mitgliedstaaten sollen erörtern, inwieweit “Synergien” erzielt werden können. Hierbei hilft die inzwischen institutionalisierte Zusammenarbeit der Leiter der Agenturen: 2010 hatte Europol den Vorsitz dieser informellen Vereinigung inne.
Europol gegen “Migrationsdruck”
Was unter “Synergien” verstanden wird, macht eine weitere Initiative der dänischen Ratspräsidentschaft deutlich: Die Regierung in Kopenhagen überraschte Ende letzten Monats mit einer “EU-Aktion gegen Migrationsdruck”. Gefordert werden als “strategische Antwort” mehr Anstrengungen auch von Europol bei der Bekämpfung unerwünschter Einwanderung. Sofern es das Mandat erlaubt, könnte die EU-Kriminalisten sogar gegen Scheinehen vorgehen, die laut der dänischen Ratspräsidentschaft durch “organisierte kriminelle Gruppierungen” inszeniert würden.
Die Polizeiagentur soll in die Zusammenarbeit mit Herkunfts- und Transitländern eingebunden werden, um unentdeckte Einwanderungsrouten aufzuspüren. Auch im Rahmen des zur Zeit verhandelten Rückübernahmeabkommens zwischen der EU und der Türkei soll Europol demnach eine besondere Rolle spielen. Angestrebt wird der Ausbau der Zusammenarbeit mit türkischen Polizeikräften und der Abschluss einer hierzu notwendigen Arbeitsvereinbarung.
Laut dem Papier der dänischen Regierung könnte die Migrationsabwehr im Dreiländereck von Griechenland, Bulgarien und der Türkei in der Einrichtung eines “trilateralen gemeinsamen Kontaktzentrums für Polizei-, Grenzschutz- und Zollzusammenarbeit” münden. 38 solcher Kooperationsprojekte entstehen zur Zeit in zahlreichen EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Ihr Vorbild sind die “Zentren für Zusammenarbeit von Polizei und Zoll” (PCCC), die als Pilotprojekte an den Grenzen Deutschlands mit Frankreich (Kehl), Polen (Swiecko) und Luxemburg aufgebaut wurden. Europol ist gehalten, sich verstärkt in die Kooperation mit diesen Zentren von Polizei und Zoll einzubringen. 2010 hatte die Agentur ein entsprechendes Seminar organisiert.
Bereits jetzt ist Europol verstärkt in den Balkanstaaten aktiv. Nach Vorbild Europols errichten 13 Länder unter dem Namen Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) eine neue Polizeibehörde, in der Europol eine “Schlüsselrolle” spielen soll. . Das Vorhaben wird von der EU-Kommission gefördert (Wer kontrolliert Europol?).
Zu den offenen Fragen einer neuen Europol-Rechtsgrundlage gehört vor allem die Erleichterung des Informationsaustausches mit der Agentur. Dabei geht es um das Europol-Informationssystem (EIS) und die Nutzung der sogenannten “Dataloader” durch die EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Diese automatisierte Übermittlung von Informationen über Personen, Sachen oder Vorgänge wird bereits für 81% aller Einspeisungen in das EIS in Anspruch genommen.
Die Mitgliedstaaten nehmen jährlich rund 10.000 Suchabfragen vor. Laut Europol verkraftet das Informationssystem ohne Probleme die doppelte Menge. Schon jetzt gehört Deutschland zu den vier Hauptlieferanten und Datenstaubsaugern bei Europol: Rund ein Drittel aller Daten im EIS stammen vom Bundeskriminalamt, etwa die gleiche Zahl an Abfragen kam über Wiesbaden. Zur “Spitzengruppe” gehören außerdem Frankreich, Belgien und Spanien. 70% der per “Dataloader” gelieferten Datensätze werden von den vier Ländern herangeschafft.
Einige Mitgliedstaaten begründen ihre Zurückhaltung bei der automatisierten Befüllung mittels “Dataloader” damit, dass dadurch qualitativ schlechte und damit für die anderen Mitgliedstaaten unbrauchbare Daten generiert würden. Trotzdem will der Rat der Europäischen Union Schlussfolgerungen verabschieden, um auch die weniger aktiven Mitgliedstaaten unter Druck zu setzen: Die nationalen Europol-Kontaktstellen sollen dann eine feste Quote an übermitteln Datensätzen erfüllen. In der Diskussion sind zudem “finanzielle Anreize”. Der Vorschlag wird unter anderem von Polen und den Niederlanden unterstützt.
Doch der Datenhunger Europols ist damit längst nicht gestillt: Erörtert wird beispielsweise, inwiefern die Nutzung von “Daten aus dem Privatsektor” intensiviert werden könnte. Fraglich ist aber, auf welche Art und Weise diese Informationen überhaupt verwertet werden dürfen. Auch ist unbestimmt, wie Provider, Firmen oder Institute auf entsprechende Anfragen zur Herausgabe von Daten reagieren müssen. Da Europol bislang über keine operativen Kompetenzen in den Mitgliedstaaten verfügt, können entsprechende Anfragen zunächst getrost ignoriert werden. Weitaus delikater ist aber die Frage, inwiefern die privaten Stellen mit Daten von Europol beliefert werden dürfen.
Einleitung von “Ermittlungsinitiativen” anvisiert
Im Rahmen der Kompetenzerweiterung wird darüber diskutiert, ob Europol zukünftig selbst Ermittlungen anstoßen darf (sogenannte “Ermittlungsinitiativen”). Die wesentlich jüngere Agentur Frontex ist dazu im Rahmen ihrer “Gemeinsamen Operationen” bereits ermächtigt. Mit derartigen “Ermittlungsinitiativen” würde Europol aber tief in die Souveränität der Mitgliedstaaten eingreifen. Im Gespräch ist deshalb eine “Subsidiaritätsprüfung”, also die Festlegung einer Schwelle, bis zu der die nationalen Polizeibehörden zuständig bleiben sollen. Gleichzeitig sollen die Zurückweisungsgründe für die Maßnahmen eingeschränkt werden: Wenn die Mitgliedstaaten also eine entsprechende Forderung ablehnen, muss dies gut begründet werden.
Die neuen Ambitionen Europols werden jetzt im “Ständigen Ausschuss für die operative Zusammenarbeit im Bereich der inneren Sicherheit” debattiert. Im November sollen die Verhandlungen in einen Verordnungsvorschlag der EU-Kommission münden, der sowohl zukünftige Aufgaben, Aufbau, Arbeitsweise und den Tätigkeitsbereich definiert.
Parallel zum Upgrade der Polizeiagentur wird auch über eine erweiterte parlamentarische Kontrolle verhandelt. Hierzu hatte die Kommission im April Vertreter nationaler Parlamente und des Europäischen Parlaments eingeladen. Doch das zweistündige Treffen kann kaum als ernsthafte Debatte gelten: Auch der neue Rechtsrahmen von Europol wurde in der kurzen Zeit behandelt.
Die Kommission bietet den Abgeordneten an, sich zukünftig durch jährliche Rechenschaftsberichte und interparlamentarische Aussprachen mit dem Direktor von Europol zu informieren. Dies beträfe aber nur die Strategie von Europol, die Beratungen über Mehrjahresprogramme oder die “Sicherheitslage in der EU”. Es soll sich dabei aber lediglich um einen Gedankenaustausch handeln. Jegliche “Ko-Administration” wird von Europol abgelehnt.
Matthias Monroy 07.05.2012
Copyright © Telepolis, Heise Zeitschriften Verlag