Video footage captured by an undercover Panorama reporter shows staff at a G4S immigration centre physically restraining and apparently trying to throttle a self-harming detainee.

PanoramaThe man, named only as Abass and staying in the ward for vulnerable and mentally ill detainees, had put a mobile phone battery in his mouth before the officer violently intervened.

In video secretly filmed by former employee Callum Tulley, the man was confronted by officers after sticking the battery in his mouth. A few moments later, he put his hands around his own neck and attempted to strangle himself in front of Tulley.

Tulley called other officers, seeking help with the matter, and an officer identified as Yan forcefully tries to get the man to let go of his neck.

'Don't you f****** move, you f****** piece of s***. I'm going to put you to f****** to sleep,' he can be heard saying as he grabs Abbass, who at this point is being restrained on the floor.

Tulley said the staff member 'basically stuck both of his fingers into his neck, and he was pushing so, so hard I could hear the detainee trying to gasp for breath'.

Later, Yan tells Tulley not to file a 'Use of Force report, and a nurse goes along with the request.

In a break room following the incident, Yan tells Tully, who was visibly distressed by the altercation: 'We don't cringe at breaking bones, that's it. If I killed a man, I wouldn't be bothered.' 

The video is part of a BBC Panorama probe, which followed an employee, who secretly filmed as other officers and staffers mocked self-harming asylum seekers, drug users and other detainees at the facility.

Jerry Petherick, managing director for G4S custodial and detention services in the UK, said: 'The company investigates all complaints and has confidential whistleblowing channels for staff. There is no place for the type of conduct described in the allegations anywhere in G4S and it is not representative of the many G4S colleagues who do a great job often in difficult and challenging circumstances.'

SecuriCares Risk Manager Lee Hollins, “This is a very troubling video. It captures an act of physical abuse being perpetrated on the part of a staff member. It shows the ‘what’, but the question it doesn’t answer is the ‘why?’. You would be wrong on face value to see this as an episode of restraint gone bad. I don’t think the problem is with a particular technique, or even with a specific policy. It’s deeper than that, and if history is anything to go by it would probably be more accurate to say its much more to do with the prevailing culture and its toxicity. In a culture that has become toxified or corrupt, the needs of the patient or service user become secondary to the needs of staff. It’s a problem that did so much to generate disasters within the NHS such as Mid Staffordshire scandal which did so much harm to patients. Leaders at the top of organisations need to look at how this mind-set has developed in order to begin the process of putting an end to such shameful and damaging incidents. Within the health service there has been talk of cultivating intelligent transparency and making healthcare more human-centred and not system-centred. The discussion needs to urgently advance so that real meaningful action can take place now..”

Training is one part of the solution. SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to enable support staff to best respond to any ‘Challenging Behaviour’ that may occur. All programmes are finalised after full training needs analysis and delivered by experienced frontline practitioners. Click to see our ‘Preventing & Managing Challenging Behaviour’ Course which includes ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ techniques designed to minimise the need for any kind of restrictive intervention. You can also take a look at our person centred Safe Holding Planning Service.

Securicare also offer a ‘Restraint Reduction’ support service and training in support of improving safety. Check out our ‘Physical Intervention’ courses and our online ‘Restraint Risks’ course.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: or T: 01904 492442

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