Another shambles as security giant leaves asylum seeker living in squalor
An asylum seeker with a five-month-old baby claims she was placed in a property by the private contractor G4S that was infested with cockroaches and slugs. The woman, who was trafficked to the UK and sold into prostitution before seeking asylum, claims she and her baby were left in the house for weeks before the local council intervened to ensure they were rehoused.
Leeds City Council contacted G4S, and their property sub-contractors Cascade, earlier this week after their inspectors found the property was a “Category 1 Hazard” and unfit for human habitation in its current condition. G4S holds contracts to supply accommodation to asylum contracts across much of England as part of the UK Border Agency’s COMPASS project.
The woman, known as Angela, says she was “dumped” at the property after she refused to accept an alternative place offered to her on the basis that the filth, mould and damp there would pose a health risk to her child.
She made repeated complaints to both G4S and Cascade and was told by the firms that they had carried out their own inspections and were satisfied the accommodations was “decent”.
“One of the people said to me when I rang ‘slugs are not harmful, even if your baby eats one of them’” she told The Independent.
Angela, who was forced into prostitution after being trafficked to the UK in 2000, was initially housed in a “nice” one-bed flat by UKBA after seeking refuge from her handlers.
But when her son was born she was moved to an area contracted to G4S and sub-contracted to property firm Cascade. “When I came here I said ‘this house doesn’t look safe for me and my child to live in’, there were cockroaches and slugs,” Angela recalls. “They took me to another property and that was absolutely disgusting, worse than this one. The kitchen smells of wee, the whole place, words cannot describe I was crying, I was screaming”.
Friday, 14 December 2012