G4S is the world's largest provider of private security. It was founded in 1901 by a group of 20 ‘nightwatchmen’ in Copenhagen as the Kjobenhavn Frederiksberg Nattevagt (the Copenhagen and Frederiksberg Night Watch). In April 2021 it was acquired by Allied Universal.

In addition to providing private security services, G4S runs prisons, immigration detention centers, police stations, as well as asylum housing. Migrant rights and prison rights groups have fiercely criticized G4S operations in Israel, South Africa and in the UK over human rights abuses. For example, in 2010 Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan refugee in the UK, died on October 12, 2010 while being restrained by G4S guards who were hired to help deport him from the country. In 2018, the UK government took control of a G4S-run prison in Birmingham after finding that violence and drug abuse were rife. 

A G4S guard has been accused of helping a convicted criminal escape from Mangaung maximum security prison in South Africa. Previous reports on the Mangaung prison documented violence and anti-psychotic drugs used by G4S guards to subdue inmates.


Security service and technology, cash-in-transit services, risk management, prison and asylum housing management.


employment-related offenses$189,600,752162
competition-related offenses$15,000,0001
safety-related offenses$596,77149
government-contracting-related offenses$450,0001

(April 27, 2023) 

Number of Records
Total Penalties
$205,647,523 (April 27, 2023)
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Article Archive

G4S: the inside story

Published by
Financial Times
Andrew Hill and Gill Plimmer

On an overcast Friday evening on a rundown suburban street in Boston, Lincolnshire, a part-time plumber and a retired policeman are sitting in a large white van outside a cell-block, waiting to hear from the police.

Read more

The Chaos Company

Published by
Vanity Fair
William Langewiesche

Wherever governments can’t—or won’t—maintain order, from oil fields in Africa to airports in Britain and nuclear facilities in America, the London-based “global security” behemoth G4S has been filling the void.

Read more

G4S securing profits, globalising injustice

Published by
War on Want

G4S, the world’s largest private security company, represents the new ideology of security in a neoliberal world. The company’s rapid growth is driven by the privatisation of security.

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Violence, illegal force, abuse: who will remove G4S from children’s prisons?

Published by
The Guardian
Eric Allison and Simon Hattenstone

Children locked in their rooms for up to 23 hours a day, young teenagers exposed to violence and excessive force, safeguarding systems in disarray: for those of us familiar with G4S’s record of running prisons, these appalling practices found at Oakhill secure training centre, a children’s prison

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Mangaung prison is a private hell

Published by
Mail and Guardian
Ruth Hopkins

The Mangaung prison in the Free State, run by the beleaguered multinational private security company G4S, is allegedly forcibly injecting inmates with antipsychotic medication and using electroshocks to subdue and control prisoners.

Read more

The G4S Record: Human Rights Violations, Corruption and Management Failures

Published by
Jewish Voice for Peace

G4S is a British multinational corporation that has grown to be the largest security company in the world. The company operates in120 counties, and employs more than 50,000 employees in the U.S. It provides a broad array of security services to government, corporate, and industrial clients.

Read more

G4S: Securing whose world?

Published by
Open Democracy
Clare Sambrook

Welcome to our investigation into G4S, the security and surveillance people who see democratic uprisings as a business opportunity. They're running privatised public services worldwide.

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Our kids starve as G4S sits on our money, workers fret

Published by
The Sowetan
Penwell Dlamini

Frustration is building up among G4S Secure Solutions workers who are supposed to get paid their share of R20m flowing from a black economic empowerment deal concluded 17 years ago.

Read more
Videos & Podcasts
G4S investigations into Thabo Bester a whitewash: Parliament
G4S slammed for human rights abuses in Palestine
Olympic Scandal as security firm G4S CEO Nick Buckles buckles under interrogation
Discussion | Govt urged to terminate G4S contract


Renewed questions about G4S operations: Ruth Hopkins


G4S prison in South Africa 'torturing inmates'
Other Key Sources
  • Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's profile on G4S UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.
  • Mirador's profile on G4S Mirador is a project of the France-based NGO Research Group for an Alternative Economic Strategy (GRESEA), which monitors abuse carried out by the largest multinational corporations in France and the world.
  • We Own It's profile on G4S We Own It is a UK-based NGO that campaigns against privatization and for the public ownership of services like energy, health, schools and water.
  • Corporate Watch's profile on G4S - Corporate Watch is a research group that helps people stand up against corporations and capitalism. Corporate Watch is a separate organisation from Corpwatch. 


Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
United States: Student groups call on Yale to cancel contract with British security company, alleging human rights violations

Yale Daily News | Nathaniel Rosenberg | April 19, 2023

Yalies 4 Palestine is calling on Yale to cancel its contract with a British security company that they say is committing human rights abuses around the globe.

South Africa: Thabo Bester's Escape: EFF Protest at Mangaung Prison, Call for Lamola's Exit

Eyewitness News | Kgomotso Modise | March 31, 2023

About 300 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members were on Friday singing and demonstrating outside the Mangaung Correctional Centre, calling for the immediate termination of the facility’s contract with G4S.

Belgium: Security officers (G4S) announce a strike at Brussels Airport for Monday 20 June, queues expected

Aviation24.be | June 11, 2022

A new day, and new disturbances are expected for passengers traveling from Brussels Airport. This time, security officers working for G4S at Belgium’s biggest airport announced a strike for Monday 20 June.

United Kingdom: These exploited workers were laughed at and told that ‘unions do nothing’

Morning Star | Helen O Connor | April 11, 2022

Croydon hospital domestics and porters were desperate and downtrodden before they started their successful campaign for pay justice. G4S workers were left starving and unable to pay their bills, particularly if they incurred injuries at work or they were sick during the pandemic.

Australia: Mount Gambier Prison Guards Strike Over Dangerous Staffing Levels at G4S-Owned Prison

The Advertiser | December 6, 2021

Guards made a second stand claiming prison owners G4S had failed to meet their demands with banners, flags and blasting We're Not Gonna Take It...

MEPs demand end to EU’s contracts with G4S

BDS | BDS Movement | March 29, 2021

A group of 23 MEPs wrote to President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli concerning the institution’s contract with the British multinational security company G4S.

United Kingdom: Campaign Kicks Off against G4S and Serco Asylum Housing Contracts

Corporate Watch | January 1, 2018

As we have reported in recent updates, the Home Office is re-tendering its major contracts for housing asylum seekers, currently held by corporates including the usual outsourcing suspects G4S and Serco. In recent years these contractors have been slammed for the appalling conditions, as asylum housing has become a byword for squalor,, management intimidation, and facilitating racist attacks.

Finland: Campaign Against G4S at University of Helsinki

Teivo Teivainen | May 21, 2015

The University of Helsinki changes its provider of security services. The previous provider was G4S, widely criticized for its alleged human rights violations in Palestine/Israel and elsewhere.

United Kingdom: The New Frontlines of War. Holding G4S to Account

War on Want | Summer 2014

Following the spectacular failure of G4S to fulfill its security contract for the London 2012 Olympics, you would be forgiven for thinking that the only way for G4S was up. However, 2013 was not a good year for the world’s largest Private Military and Security Company.

United Kingdom: Get G4S off King's College London campuses

Change.org | 2013

In May 2013 King’s College London (KCL) announced a security contract put out for tender for which the British-Danish security giant ‘Group4Securicor’ (G4S) is bidding. G4S is already providing our University with its services through G4S Security Services UK LTD and G4S Technology LTD. There is also a potential £10 million contract with G4S in the pipeline to secure KCL residence halls.

United Kingdom: G4S – an issue for all trade unionists - Unite the union

Trade union campaign | 2013

In 2013 the Executive Committee of UNITE agreed to produce a briefing on G4S. Unite members, and the wider trade union movement, have every reason to challenge G4S as it tramples over public services and our policies opposing privatisation, against racism, and in favour of effective international solidarity, similar to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions which helped to end the apartheid regime in South Africa.

United Kingdom: “Mobilising Outrage: our campaign against G4S”

John Grayson | April 12, 2012

A Yorkshire campaign deploys rigorous research to expose and resist the astonishing corporate takeover of Britain’s ‘asylum seeker markets’.

Major Investigations
South Africa: G4S booted from control of Mangaung prison after Thabo Bester escape

GroundUp | Daniel Steyn, James Stent & Marecia Damons | March 30, 2023

National Commissioner of Correctional Services Makgothi Thobakgale announced on Thursday that a temporary manager has been appointed to take control of Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) from G4S. This follows the escape of rapist and murderer Thabo Bester in May 2022.

United States: STC Still Locking Children in Cells for 23 Hours a Day, Warn Inspectors

Children & Young People Now | Joe Lepper | October 13, 2021

Inspectors note that children may be locked up for even longer, after raising further concerns around the recording of data at the G4S run facility.

U.S. v. G4S Secure Solutions NV

US Department of Justice | June 25, 2021

G4S Secure Solutions NV (G4S) agreed to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to rig bids, allocate customers, and fix prices for defense-related security services provided in Belgium to the U.S. Department of Defense.

United Kingdom: Three former G4S executives charged with fraud against taxpayer

Serious Fraud Office (SFO) | September 8, 2020

The Serious Fraud Office has charged three former executives of G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (G4S C&J) with multiple offences in relation to a multi-year scheme to defraud the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

United Kingdom: G4S fined £44m by Serious Fraud Office over electronic tagging

The Guardian | Rob Davies | July 10, 2020

Security firm G4S has been fined £44m by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as part of an agreement that will see it avoid prosecution for overcharging the Ministry of Justice for the electronic tagging of offenders, some of whom had died.

United States: G4S to pay at least US$100min to settle class action suit against the firm in California

Proactive | Jon Hopkins | January 23, 2019

The FTSE 250-listed firm said the class action related to claims for meal and rest breaks under California law, covering approximately 13,500 employees over the period 2001 to 2010. 

Papua New Guinea: G4S hit with multiple lawsuits from Manus Island staff

The Guardian | Melissa Davey | December 27, 2018

The Australian government and the security giant it contracts to secure offshore detention centres, G4S, are facing a raft of lawsuits alleging staff were put at risk while working on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, suffering physical and psychological harm during riots.

South Africa: Prison Company Stalls Court Actions

Private Security Network | Ruth Hopkins | December 7, 2018

British multinational security company G4S wants the high court in Pretoria to suppress evidence that could reveal widespread torture and abuse of prisoners at its Mangaung prison in Bloemfontein.

United Kingdom: Employee who suffered racist insult from contractor awarded £26,000 for discrimination

People Management | Lauren Brown | November 5, 2018

The employer of a man who felt unable to return to work after a co-worker shouted a racist remark at him in a corridor was guilty of racial discrimination for failing to adequately investigate his complaints, a tribunal has ruled.

United States: For-profit juvenile detention facility 'a disgrace to Florida', says grand jury

The Guardian | David Pegg | July 27, 2015

G4S, the controversial British outsourcing firm behind the disastrous security provision at the London Olympics, has been accused of running a “disgraceful” juvenile detention centre in Florida.

United Kingdom: Scandal of G4S-run Medway youth jail deepens as five more arrested

The Guardian | Ben Quinn and Eric Allison | June 9, 2016

Three men and two women detained on suspicion of misconduct in public office as investigation continues into allegations of abuse by staff at Kent institution.

UK high court blocks deportation of man who accuses G4S of abuse

The Guardian | Diane Taylor | September 7, 2017

Judge says Home Office cannot deport man while he pursues damages following alleged treatment at Brook House IRC.

United Kingdom: Jury rules Jimmy Mubenga was unlawfully killed

Inquest | July 9, 2013

A jury has returned a verdict of unlawful killing (unlawful act killing) in the inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga. Jimmy Mubenga, a healthy 46 year old Angolan man, died on 12 October 2010 following face-forward restraint in his seat by three G4S security guards on a British Airways flight from Heathrow airport to Angola.

Australia: Prison transporter fined over death of Mr Ward

ABC News | August 12, 2011

Prison transport company G4S has been fined $285,000 for its involvement in the death of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward.

Employment Practices
& Relations
South Africa: G4S breached contract multiple times

eNCA | April 14, 2023

A report by the Department of Correctional Services into Thabo Bester's escape revealed a number of breaches of contract by G4S.

South Africa: POPCRU Accuses G4S of Firing Mangaung Prison Employees to Avoid Pension Payouts

Eyewitness News | Kgomotso Modise | April 13, 2023

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) accused security company G4S of firing some of its members at the prison that Thabo Bester escaped from in order to avoid paying their pension pay-outs... They questioned G4S’s decision to fire four junior staff members, saying an escape of that kind could not have been manned by a junior.

South Africa: G4S grilled over prison staff lifestyle audits

East Coast Radio | Steve Bhengu | April 12, 2023

Representatives of G4S, the security company that runs the jail from where Thabo Bester escaped, has come under fire for allegedly not conducting lifestyle audits on its prison staff. 

United Kingdom: Mixed race woman fired by G4S after row over black power salute

The Guardian | Mattha Busby | August 22, 2022

A mixed-race woman was disciplined and later sacked from a G4S coronavirus testing centre after suggesting colleagues could adopt the black power salute for a photo in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

South Africa: Workers demand R20m share from security firm

The Sowetan | Penwell Dlamini | January 21, 2022

This week, the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission (BBBEEC) said that it had received proof of payment of the R20m from G4S, which it imposed as a fine after it found the company to be fronting last year.

Nigeria: OSL/G4S In The Niger Delta: Big Global Firm Presses Weight on Workers’ Rights

Private Security Network | Ibiba Donpedro | February 9, 2021

Chevron Nigeria Limited’s Security Contractor G4S owes hundreds of ex-staff millions of naira in unpaid gratuity. The company denies current staff union membership rights in a culture of violation of workers’ rights that will not be tolerated elsewhere, writes Ibiba DonPedro.

G4S Malawi Workers Silently Suffer Abuse

Private Security Network | Gregory Gondwe | May 27, 2020

One night in March 2017, Kondwani Banda (not real name), a security officer for G4S Malawi, got badly injured when he tried to stop a group of heavily armed robbers armed with machetes who set out to rob a mobile phone tower he was guarding in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital.

Employees Accuse G4S India of Exploitation

Private Security Network | Varsha Torgalkar | May 20, 2020

“I have been working for 12 hours, from 7 pm to 7 am daily, as a private security guard. I work 30 days in a row without any days off. After 30 days I visit my wife in our village for 4 or 5 days. G4S India, [my] employer, does not give me a weekly off day or paid public holidays,” said Damor Chhanabhai Arjunbhai, age 23.

A security empire deployed guards with violent pasts across the U.S. Some went on to rape, assault or kill

USA Today | Brett Murphy, Nick Penzenstadler | October 31, 2019

G4S has sometimes given power, authority and weapons to individuals who represent the very threat they are meant to guard against. Documents show the company's American subsidiaries have hired or retained at least 300 employees with questionable records, including criminal convictions, allegations of violence and prior law enforcement careers that ended in disgrace.

United Kingdom: ‘How do we get out if there’s a fire?’ In Yorkshire, G4S tenants live in fear

Open Democracy | John Grayson | June 26, 2017

“The only way that landlord will do anything is when children die in there,” neighbours warned. “It’s because we are black, they don’t care,” one tenant said. They’re talking about a hostel that is home to six families and their nine children, most of them babies and toddlers.”

Unpaid workers are left in the lurch as multinationals leave Yemen

TRT World | Halima Mansoor | January 12, 2017

The energy firm Total and security company G4S left the country in 2015 as conflict between the Houthis and the government escalated, leaving over 200 local employees in the lurch.

South Africa: State seizes bedlam-riven Bloem prison

Mail and Guardian | Ruth Hopkins | October 11, 2013

Following the third hostage drama since the inception of the privately run Mangaung Correctional Centre in 2000, the department of correctional services announced on Wednesday that it would take over the management of the prison.


Corporate Headquarters
46 Gillingham Street, Pimlico, London, Greater London, SW1V1HU
Most Recent Gross Revenue
US$8.937 billion (2020) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
US$196 million (2020) | source
Major Funders

Major funders of Allied Universal: 

Major Shareholders

G4S is no longer listed on the London or Copenhagen Stock Exchange. It has been acquired by American private security provider Allied Universal, which is privately funded and therefore it has no shareholders.

G4S's major shareholders before Allied bought the company:

Political Influence

Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.

Open Secrets Logo

OpenSecrets.org Profile of G4S

Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details on subsidies received by G4S
Tax Havens
& Evasion
Kenya’s Opaque Procurement Deals: The Case of G4S

Private Security Network | Jackie Wahome | July 9, 2021

The opaqueness of public procurement may be losing Kenya much needed tax revenues that would greatly ease the tax burden on ordinary Kenyans.

Thousands recruited to front UK firms in 'tax dodge'

BBC | Anna Meisel | May 10, 2021

More than 40,000 people from the Philippines have been recruited to front British companies as part of schemes costing the UK "hundreds of millions of pounds" in lost taxes.

G4S Company scan

SOMO | July 2020

This report investigates, on behalf of the Private Security Network, a number of financial aspects concerning the G4S group, such as ownership, debt, financial results, corporate structure, tax practices and business model.

United Kingdom: Friday 13th unlucky for some

In Accountancy News | May 13, 2016

The company, G4S Cash Solutions, tried to reduce their corporation tax bill by approximately £580,000 but the first-tier tribunal has ruled in HMRC’s favour in rejecting the claim for the deduction of the fines.

Australia: Big bills and tax havens: The business of immigration detention

Sydney Morning Herald | Ben Butler | February 28, 2014

The sacked operator of a controversial immigration detention centre at Manus Island, G4S, paid no Australian tax in 2012, Fairfax Media has learnt.

United Kingdom: Atos, G4S paid no corporation tax last year despite carrying out £2billion of taxpayer-funded work

The Telegraph | Christopher Hope| November 12, 2013

Two of the country’s biggest private contractors paid no corporation tax in Britain last year, despite carrying out billions of pounds of taxpayer funded work for the Government, an official audit finds.

Revealed: One in four of the UK's top companies pay no tax while we give THEM millions in credits

The Daily Mail | Alex Hawkes | March 3, 2013

Almost one in four of Britain’s biggest listed companies paid no corporation tax in this country last year – and almost half fail to disclose their tax payments to the UK at all, according to research by The Mail on Sunday.

Major Projects
United Kingdom: Lincolnshire Police to end £200m deal with G4S in 2022

FMJ | Sarah O Beirne | November 11, 2022

Lincolnshire Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc James has said in a statement that he will not be renewing the forces £200 million contract with G4S. 

G4S saga ends as shareholders accept $5.3 billion Allied Universal offer

Reuters | Yadarisa Shabong | March 16, 2021 

The G4S takeover saga finally came to an end on Tuesday after a majority of the security company’s shareholders accepted a 3.8 billion pound ($5.28 billion) offer from U.S. rival Allied Universal, snubbing hostile Canadian bidder GardaWorld.

South Africa: Mystery of G4S and its prison stranglehold

NewFrame | Ruth Hopkins | January 13, 2021 

The company controversially continues to bag huge contracts despite dramas and scandals in the correctional facilities it runs in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

United Kingdom: G4S to leave immigration sector after Brook House scandal

The Guardian | Mattha Busby | September 24, 2019

Undercover footage from BBC’s Panorama at Brook House in 2017 showed officials mocking, abusing and assaulting detainees at the facility. A detainee was filmed being throttled by a member of G4S staff, and there were claims of systematic abuse.

United Kingdom: G4S make £14.3m profit from Brook House contract despite serious failings

Committees Parliament | July 22, 2019 

A NAO investigation conducted for the Home Affairs Committee, following a Panorama programme which revealed shocking levels of abuse against detainees, has shown for the first time that G4S has made £14.3 million in profit from Brook House immigration removal centre between 2012 and 2018.

United Kingdom: MoJ seizes control of Birmingham prison from G4S

The Guardian | Jessica Elgot | August 20, 2018

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been forced to take immediate control of HMP Birmingham from its contractor G4S, after a damning inspection found that prisoners used drink, drugs and violence with impunity and corridors were littered with cockroaches, blood and vomit.

G4S leaving Israel shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign is winning

The Independent | Sara Apps | March 11, 2016

G4S has finally announced that it will be selling its subsidiary, G4S Israel, “in the next 12 to 24 months”. The news has been greeted with jubilation from campaigners who have led a sustained boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the organisation over the last four years.

G4S Loses Australia Contract Amid Detention Center Revamp (Papua New Guinea)

Business & Human Rights Resource Center | Morgan Lapeyre | February 25, 2014  

G4S...lost an Australian government contract for an asylum seekers detention center after an investigation found deficient safety arrangements...Transfield Services...will take over...to provide security and welfare services at the offshore detention center at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea...

United Kingdom: How The Plan To Privatize London's Olympic Security Turned Into A Disaster

Business Insider | Adam Taylor | July 19, 2012 

When G4S announced it would be signing a $355 million contract for services at the London Olympics this year, many eyebrows were raised. 

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