Management changes at Medway Secure Training Centre
"As part of a programme of measures to respond to recent events at the Medway Secure Training Centre, we are committed to supporting an independent review commissioned today by the Ministry of Justice.
"We welcome today's announcement by the Secretary of State that he has appointed a team of independent experts to conduct the review.
"We also announce the appointment of Ben Saunders as the interim Centre Director for Medway STC. Ben is a qualified social worker with extensive experience of working with vulnerable people and will give the Ministry’s Independent Improvement Board our full support."
Notes to editors:
This morning, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) published a note which found that the initial actions to respond to the mistreatment of young people at Medway were satisfactory but raised concerns about the medium term future of the centre. An update on G4S’s actions to date can be found on the company website together with our apology to the young people involved
Detail on the government’s Independent Improvement Board can be found on the Ministry of Justice website
Ben Saunders is currently director of G4S’s Tinsley House and Brook House Immigration Removal Centres at Gatwick. The recent Home Office commissioned Shaw report identified that some of the measures to support vulnerable people at the Gatwick IRCs should be adopted across all IRCs as best practice
Ben Saunders has a 26-year career in the care and safeguarding of vulnerable people, including 14 years at Medway and five years as director of the centre, will start immediately
Ben Saunders was director of Medway between 2007 and 2012 and is a qualified social worker. Ofsted reports during his tenure all rated the centre as “good” or “outstanding”
The company has been trialling body-worn video cameras at Rainsbrook secure training centre in Northamptonshire and after positive initial results there are plans to invest in the cameras at both Oakhill and Medway in Kent to further strengthen safety