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G4S plc (formerly Group 4 Securicor) is a publicly-traded (LSE:GFS, OMX:G4S) United Kingdom-based company and one of the largest security firms in the world.[1] G4S formed with the merger of international security firms Securicor and Group 4 A/S (formerly Group 4 Falck). G4S runs prisons, transports cash, provides security guards, installs security systems and surveillance devices, and contracts for militaries in numerous countries,[1] and has contracted to take over some police functions in parts of the UK.[2]

In recent years CEO Ashley Almanza, who took over in 2013 after the company's failure to fulfill its contract to provide security for the 2012 London Olympics, "has focused on selling and exiting businesses to make G4S smaller and more profitable."[3]

In 2016, it operated in some 120 countries and had more than 60,000 employees, making it one of the largest private-sector employers in the world.[4] The U.S.-based Wackenhut is a subsidiary, and was renamed G4S Secure Solutions in 2010. G4S Secure Solutions specializes in providing armed guards and security for industrial and government customers.[5]

Other competing global security firms include Sweden's Securitas and Spain's Prosegur Compañia de Seguridad.[5]

News and Controversies

Orlando Shooter Had Worked as G4S Guard Since 2007

Omar Mateen, who in 2016 killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting attack in the Orlando, Florida gay nightclub Pulse, had worked for G4S as a private security guard since 2007.[6]

G4S "said it had conducted two screenings of Mateen, once when he was hired in 2007 and again in 2013. Neither brought up anything of concern," according to Reuters.[6]

The company later admitted that it had outsourced Mateen's 2007 evaluation to a company called the Headquarters for Psychological Evaluation, despite putting a different psychologist's name on forms the state of Florida requires for prospective armed security guards. G4S also revealed that it had not given Mateen another psychological exam in 2013.[7]

Coworker Complained about Behavior

A former coworker told media that he had complained about Mateen's behavior:

Daniel Gilroy, a former co-worker of Mateen at G4S, said he repeatedly complained to his supervisor about Mateen’s behavior, which included Mateen bombarding Gilroy with as many as 30 text messages a day, some of which made death threats.
"Everything he said was toxic," Gilroy told the Florida Today, "and the company wouldn't do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people."[6]

The company said in a statement that it had no record of a complaint by Gilroy.[6]

G4S "Failed to Understand the Size and Complexity" of London Olympics

G4S won an approximately $355 million contract to provide security at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, marking an unusually large-scale privatization of Olympics security. But the company failed to provide sufficient staff, some days running as much as 35 percent short. Thousands of UK troops had to be called in to replace the missing security.[8][9] In September 2012 Lord Coe, the chair of the London 2012 committee, and Paul Deighton, the chief executive of the games, gave a report to Parliament that, according to The Guardian,

revealed that the London organising committee had paid around £90m of the £236m overall cost of the contract when they stopped making any further payments on 13 July – two days after G4S finally revealed that it was going to be necessary to call in the military to cover the gaps.[9]

Coe said that G4S had "'failed to understand the size and complexity' of the Olympic security job, and was caught out by its sheer scale," The Guardian reported. G4S had paid "nearly £5m" to sponsor the Games.[9]

Political Influence


In the U.S., G4S contracts with Kelley, Drye & Warren for federal lobbying. As of July, it had reported $40,000 in federal lobbying expenses for 2016. The only issue listed was "Provision of security services at military installations and provision of security services at the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services sites."[10]



The following information is historical and may not reflect current G4S contracts.

  • For the first time in twenty years, the military may use private guards at bases in the US. Wackenhut is providing security at 18 bases in the US, including Fort Bragg and West Point. [11]
  • G4S is heavily involved in Israel, where:
Through its Israeli subsidiary, G4S Israel (Hashmira), the company has provided equipment for Israeli-run checkpoints and terminals in the West Bank and Gaza including luggage scanning machines and full body scanners. The company provided security system for prisons for Palestinian political prisoners in Israel and in the West Bank, including the Ktziot, Megido and Damon Prisons in Israel and the Ofer prison in the West Bank.
The company also provided security systems for the Kishon ("Al-Jalameh") and Jerusalem ("Russian Compound") detention and interrogation facilities. Human rights organizations have collected evidence showing that Palestinian prisoners are regularly subjected to torture in these facilities.
The company also provided equipment to the West Bank Israeli Police headquarters, located in the highly contested E-1area next to the Ma'ale Edomim settlement, and the security services division of the company provides security services to various businesses in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.[12]
  • In the UK, on December 20, 2004, Securicor Justice Services was awarded a five year contract, that begins in April of 2005, by the Home Office to provide escort and removal services for the Immigration & Nationality Directorate. [14] SJS is also supplying the Home Office with electronic surveillance services in England and Wales. [13]
  • Manchester, England, has awarded G4S a seven-year contract for all of its City Council guarding services. This includes protecting 50 sites and an Incident Response Service. [14]
  • On May 1, 2003, G4S was granted a five-year contract to provide base protection and security at Camp Bondsteel and Camp Montieth in Kosovo. [15]
  • Through the Wackenhut Corporation subsidiary they provide armed guards for for airports, nuclear power plants, US embassies, and prisons. The security services also include consulting for areas where guards are deployed, fire and rescue services and background investigations. Through Wackenhut Services they offer services such as facilities maintenance, hazardous material management, security and law enforcement, emergency preparation and response, and they provide border protection for the Office of Homeland Security. [16]
  • G4S has been in Nepal since 1996 guarding embassies and businesses from Maoist attacks.[18]
  • In November of 2002, G4S was given the go ahead to offer security services to clients in China. Among their first clients were IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant and Raffles City, a huge complex in Shanghai. [19]
  • G4S provides security to many buildings, including the new mosque under construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[20]
  • The subsidiary, Cognisa Security, Inc., offers security consulting services to commercial and institutional clients in the US, transportation services, biometric technology installations, security guard training and staffing. [21]
  • G4S has been protecting the deep-water port at Zeebrugge, Belgium since 1986 [22]
  • Securicor subsidiary, Argenbright Security, controlled 40% of the US market for airport screening until late 2001 when they entered a plea agreement admitting to several violations in regards to hiring practices, audits, labor violations, and falsifying statements to federal regulators, giving them honors of one the worst companies in 2001, [15], fined $1.5 million, and resulting in loss of the contract at Boston's Logan Airport and Bedford's Hanscom Airfield in November, 2001. They also had operations at Dulles, Newark and Chicago's O'Hare airports. Argenbright was not operating security measures for the airlines of hijacked planes out of Logan on September 11, 2001.[16] Argenbright exited in 2003. [23]


The following information is historical and may not reflect current G4S subsidiaries.

Other Past & Current Clients



As of July 2016:[26]

  • John Connolly, Chair
  • Ashley Almanza, CEO
  • John Daly
  • Winnie Kin Wah Fok
  • Steve Mogford
  • Himanshu Raja
  • Paul Spence
  • Clare Spottiswoode
  • Barbara Thoralfsson
  • Tim Weller

Key Executives

As of July 2016:[27]

  • Ashley Almanza, CEO
  • Claude Allain, Regional President, Middle East and India
  • Martin Alvarez, Regional President, Latin America and Caribbean
  • Mel Brooks, Regional President, Africa
  • Jon Corner, Regional President, Asia
  • John Kenning, Regional CEO, North America
  • Graham Levinsohn, Regional CEO, Europe
  • Jenni Myles, Group HR Director
  • Søren Lundsberg-Nielsen, Group General Counsel
  • Peter Neden, Regional President, UK and Ireland
  • Himanshu Raja, Group CFO
  • Jesus Rosano, Group Strategy and Commercial Director
  • Debbie Walker, Group Corporate Affairs Director


"The Manor", Manor Royal
RH10 9UN, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-0-20-8770-7000
Fax: +44-0-20-7776-1301
Web: http://www.g4s.com

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 William Langewiesche, "The Chaos Company," Vanity Fair, March 18, 2014.
  2. "Police cuts: G4S says private firms could save forces £1bn a year," BBC, November 19, 2015.
  3. Stu Woo, "Orlando Nightclub Shooting Puts G4S in Spotlight Again," The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2016.
  4. G4S, "Key Facts and Figures," corporate website, accessed July 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 G4S Profile, Hoovers, accessed July 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Yeganeh Torbati and Mica Rosenberg, "Orlando shooter was employee of global security firm G4S," June 14, 2016.
  7. Madeline Farber, "Orlando Shooter's Employer Admits 'Clerical Error'," Fortune June 20, 2016.
  8. Adam Taylor, "How The Plan To Privatize London's Olympic Security Turned Into A Disaster," Business Insider, July 18, 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Alan Travis and Owen Gibson, "G4S failed to understand size of Olympic security job, says Lord Coe," The Guardian, September 11, 2012.
  10. Center for Responsive Politics, "G4S plc," lobbying profile, Open Secrets database, accessed July 2016.
  11. [1]
  12. Group4securicor (G4S), Who Profits, Accessed: 17 April 2012.
  13. [2]
  14. [3]
  15. [4]
  16. [5]
  17. [6]
  18. [7]
  19. [8]
  20. [9]
  21. [10]
  22. [11]
  23. [12]
  24. [13]
  25. Hashmira: 91% of company shares are held by Group4securicor (G4S)
  26. G4S Board, corporate website, accessed July, 2016.
  27. G4S, "Executive Team," corporate website, accessed July 2016.