Heard of the security company called G4S? Of course you have. It is the security firm which let down the great British public this year. Awarded a valubale contract to supply security guards for the London 2012 Olympics the company waited till the eleventh hour before announcing that they were far from ready. In the end the British Army filled the huge shortfall but G4S were still adamant that they should get paid in full.
This same shambolic firm were in line to take over much of the public sector backrooms such as for the Police Force. The Condems, the British Coalition government, are so keen on privatising services that it seems any old company will do. After the Olympics fiasco the police contracts are on hold.
However perhaps more shocking is an incident in 2009. Once again the government, this time it would be a Labour one, were utilising G4S. The company was operating under the name of ArmorGroup in Iraq. They were supplying security guards as part of a protection contract they had secured.
In 2009, one of their employees, a Danny Fitzsimmons, shot and killed two colleagues within 36 hours of arriving in Iraq. It was not the first time that former paratrooper Danny had been in Iraq. He had previously been sacked from a job in Iraq after punching a client.
What is shocking are revelations that G4S was warned not to employ Fitzsimmons due to his violent past. A BBC documentary will reveal that an anonymopus email said, "I am alarmed that he will shortly be allowed to handle a weapon and be exposed to members of the public. "I am speaking out because I feel that people should not be put at risk."
Another email, sent as he was due to start work in Baghdad, said: "Having made you aware of the issues regarding the violent criminal Danny Fitzsimons, it has been noted that you have not taken my advice and still choose to employ him in a position of trust. "I have told you that he remains a threat and you have done nothing."
Even security guards in the UK who will simply try and stop thieves in a supermarket undergo a thorough police check and must meet strict guidelines so went went wrong? Is it just more G4S failings?
According to the BBC "Fitzsimons also had a criminal record, was facing outstanding charges of assault and a firearms offence, and had been diagnosed by doctors as having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)." He may of course have simply been one of many violent individuals in the World today. One thing is for sure, and that is a criminal record should have excluded him from working as a security guard, period.
Danny Fitzsimmons is now serving a twenty year jail term in a Baghdad prison. The two dead men were British man Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare. An Iraqi man was wounded as Fitsimmons tried to flee the scene.
The parents of Paul are now asking that G4S be held accountable for the deaths. In light of the warnings given before Fitzsimmons was employed to work in Iraq the parents believe that G4S are guilty of Corporate Manslaughter.
The case has also raised the question of the welfare of those working in the private sector, in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq, for companies such as G4S. It claims that deaths of these men hardly make any news. Add to this the fact that these workers may suffer PTSD after an extended period in Iraq for example, and it is easy to see problems in the future. The workers will not have the support structure that members of the armed forces have.