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G4S plc
Type Public (LSE: GFS, OMXG4S)
Founded 1901
Headquarters Crawley, Sussex, United Kingdom
Key people Alf Duch-Pedersen (Chairman)
Nick Buckles (CEO)
Industry Security
Revenue £7,008.6 million (2009)[1]
Operating income £417.1 million (2009)[1]
Net income £219.2 million (2009)[1]
Employees 585,000 (2010)[2]

G4S plc (formerly Group 4 Securicor, LSE: GFS, OMXG4S) is the world's largest security services provider. Its services include manned security, operation of criminal justice systems, electronic security systems, and financial services including cash transfer. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



The company has its origins in a guarding business founded in Copenhagen in 1901 by Marius Hogrefe originally known as Kjøbenhavn Frederiksberg Nattevagt and subsequently renamed Falck.[3]

In 2000 Group 4, a security firm formed in the 1960s in Belgium, merged with Falck to form Group 4 Falck.[3] Following the decision by the British Government in 1993 to enter into a contract with Group 4 to provide security for prisons, the company was embarrassed after a series of security blunders, including escaped prisoners.[4] In 2002 Group 4 Falck went on to buy Wackenhut.[5]

In 2003 Group 4 Falck signed a Detention Services Contract with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (Australia).[6] Under this contract Group 4 Falck took over direct control of Australia's refugee detention centres from Australasian Correctional Management, owned by its subsidiary Wackenhut, which had run them since 1998.

In 2004 Group 4 Falck merged with Securicor, a security firm founded in the 1935 in London, to form G4S.[7]

In 2005 and 2006 G4S was the subject of a global campaign by union workers alleging that subsidiaries undermine labour and human rights standards. Some of these groups were organised under the banner of the SEIU funded Focus on Group 4 Securicor.[8] This group backed protests at Group 4 Securicor's annual general meeting in London in 2005[9] and 2006. The 2006 US State Department Report on Human Rights in Indonesia released in March 2006 featured the on-going dispute in Jakarta with Group4/Securicor.[10] In July 2006 the Indonesian Securicor workers had a substantial win - but the campaigners continue to support other Group 4 Securicor workers.[11] The company disputed these claims and pointed to its strong relationships with unions around the world, including the GMB in Britain.[12]

In March 2008, it was announced that G4S were taking over Scottish Rock Steady Group - who carry out stewarding at major sporting and music events mostly in the UK. Rock Steady events have included Live8 concerts in London, Scottish FA Cup Final & the Download Festival.[13]

In May 2008, the Company acquired ArmorGroup International.[14] Also in May 2008 G4S plc completed its £355 million acquisition of Global Solutions Limited.[15]

In December 2008 G4S and UNI, the global union, announced the launch of an Ethical Employment Partnership, which will drive improvements in standards across the global security industry.[16]

Also in December 2008, G4S and the SEIU reached an agreement to end their long dispute and establish a framework to work together in the interest of employees.[17]

The G4S helicopter robbery occurred on September 23, 2009 in Sweden. Both G4S' own security and the police work were criticized.[18]


G4S Cash Services CVIT VAN (UK)

G4S provides guarding services at various airports including Heathrow Airport, Oslo Airport, Schiphol Airport and OR Tambo Airport as well as at various facilities belonging to the US, UK, Canada and European Governments. It also operates custody facilities, immigration centres and police custody suites and electronic security systems. In addition, it provides cash management and logistics services for the main British and European Banks.[19] G4S also owns the Wackenhut Corporation, a leading provider of security services in North America.

In popular culture

The anarcho-punk band Crass wrote a song entitled "Securicor", criticising the corporation.[20] The company is also referenced in the title of the Massive Attack song "Group Four". Also, the securicars in the Grand Theft Auto game series have "Gruppe Sechs" written on the side, a reference to both G4S and group sex.


  1. ^ a b c Preliminary Results 2009
  2. ^ G4S: About Us
  3. ^ a b G4S History
  4. ^ "BBC News: Surviving the jokes". 2002-02-15. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  5. ^ Falck buys Wackenhut Security
  6. ^ "Media Release: Group 4 To Manage Immigration Detention Facilities". 2003-08-27. 
  7. ^ Group 4 Falck and Securicor plc announce terms of merger
  8. ^ Focus on G4S
  9. ^ Phillip Inman; David Gow (2005-06-30). "Unions say Group 4 is unfair to workers". Guardian Unlimited.,,1517686,00.html. 
  10. ^ "Indonesia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005". United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2006-03-08. 
  11. ^ Focus on G4S: Violating Workers' Rights: G4S in Indonesia
  12. ^ "G4S praised by Prime Minister for Union Recognition Agreement with GMB". G4S. 2006-06-22. 
  13. ^ Scots founder sells off pop concert security firm Rock Steady
  14. ^ G4S buys security firm rival ArmorGroup for £43m
  15. ^ G4S buys GSL in £355m deal
  16. ^ "G4S & UNI sign global agreement". UNI. 2008-12-16. 
  17. ^ "SEIU Reaches Agreement with Wackenhut: Agreement paves way for partnership on mutual goals". SEIU. 2008-12-16. 
  18. ^ Helicopter used in Sweden robbery BBC News
  19. ^ G4S services
  20. ^ Last FM

External links



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