MPs demand to know why private company was allowed to continue running Rainsbrook STC

The privately-run centre had been plagued by safety concerns for years

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:57 am
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:58 am
Rainsbrook STC.
Rainsbrook STC.

A group of MPs are demanding to know why private company MTC was allowed to continue running Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre near Rugby - despite multiple damning reports and concerns over safety.

The centre, which holds children aged from 12 to 17, has been run by a for-profit company MTC since 2015 - before that it was run by G4S.

On June 16 justice secretary Robert Buckland announced that all 33 children being held at the centre would be evacuated following serious concerns for the safety of both the children and the staff.

Following the announcement, he said: "Six months ago, I demanded that MTC take immediate action to fix the very serious failings at Rainsbrook.

"They have failed to deliver and I have been left with no choice but to ask that all children are moved elsewhere as soon as possible."

Negotiations with MTC are ongoing, and may result in the centre being brought into the control of HM Prison Service, he added.

And today, June 24, MPs from the justice select committee demanded to know why MTC was allowed to continue running the site - despite a litany of failings stretching back for years.

In a statement issued on their website, they said: "The facility had previously received a catalogue of negative inspection reports by Ofsted, the Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission, and also issued with two Urgent Notifications in less than a year.

"The Justice Committee’s own report, published in March this year, called for the running of the facility to be brought back in-house, should MTC fail to deliver the improvements necessary.

"In a follow-up report published today, the committee has set out a series of questions about the decision making process that led to the contract to run the facility to be extended despite repeated criticisms from independent inspectors, two improvement notices being issued and financial penalties levied.

"Questions also remain over the financial cost of extending the contract and what termination costs may now apply, as well as what the future use of the Rainsbrook facility will be.

"The Ministry has been requested to disclose this information.

"The Committee expects to receive a reply in two weeks."

Days after the June 16 announcement, Ofsted released a statement detailing the shocking conditions inside the centre.

A spokesperson said: "During a June inspection, children and staff told inspectors that they did not feel safe, fearing that someone was going to die or be seriously harmed.

"Levels of violence and staff use of force are high. Physical assaults between children are common, and children are able to bully and intimidate each other.

"Inspectors found that unsafe practice still continues and is not being appropriately dealt with, while the disconnect between senior leaders and staff on the ground has deteriorated since previous visits."

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