G4S custody officer charged with assault of a child

Kent Police announced today that a former G4S custody officer has been charged with the common assault of an imprisoned child. The officer worked at Medway secure training centre when it was managed by security firm G4S.

Nine other officers have been bailed pending further investigation. Two more officers were arrested for offences against children but released without charge.

Criminal investigations were launched following BBC Panorama undercover filming of physical and emotional abuse in the centre. Panorama’s programme, ‘Teenage Prison Abuse Exposed’, was broadcast on 11 January. It later transpired that formal complaints about children’s treatment in the prison had been submitted to the Youth Justice Board as long ago as 2003.

Medway secure training centre has been under government control since 1 July 2016.

Medway Safeguarding Children Board has not yet decided whether it will commission a serious case review into the harm suffered by children at the prison. Article 39 wrote to the Chair of the Board, John Drew, last month. We shared information we have obtained about serious injuries and asphyxiation warning signs during the use of physical restraint in Medway (and other child prisons), and urged Drew to launch a serious case review.