LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Global security company G4S said on Friday it had suspended seven members of staff over allegations of unnecessary force and improper language at a British training centre for young offenders.
The company, which runs the Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester, Kent, on behalf of the government, said it had referred the allegations to British police, local authorities and the Ministry of Justice.
G4S became aware of the allegations after receiving a letter from the BBC, Paul Cook, managing director for G4S Children’s Services in the UK, told reporters by phone on Friday.
The centre provides training for young offenders aged 12 to 18.
An independent investigation has been launched by local authorities and the police.
“We take any allegations of unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour extremely seriously and are giving our full support and co-operation,” Cook said.
G4S’s reputation was hurt after it failed to supply enough guards under a security contract for the 2012 London Olympics.
The following year it was found to have overcharged for a contract to tag offenders, prompting a ban on new UK government work which lasted until April, 2014.
Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Jason Neely