The private company set to operate WA's new youth offender centre has been criticised by the British High Court in a decision which found young people had endured a decade of unlawful abuse while in its care.
In a judgment handed down this week, High Court Justice David Foskett said youths held in the "secure training centres" had been restrained by staff inflicting a sharp blow to the child's nose or ribs or yanking back their thumb.
The disciplinary techniques were outlined in a 2005 manual, which suggested they could be used to control fighting juveniles.
Judge Foskett said the techniques were used on as many as 350 children a month over the decade, and about 25 per cent of the time were used unlawfully.
This week's revelations of the full extent of the abuse at the Serco and G4S facilities come after a previous British inquiry into the suicide of a 14-year-old who had been subject to unlawful restraint at a Serco unit.
The Community and Public Sector Union yesterday called for Serco to be disqualified from its bid to run Perth's young adults centre.
Serco was given preferred tender status two months ago and was expected to win the contract next month.
The 80-bed facility for 18 to 24-year-old men will operate on the same site as the Rangeview Juvenile Remand Centre.
The Department of Corrective Services said the successful bidder would be tied to key performance measures and other controls to ensure standards.A Serco spokesman said the firm took its responsibilities "very seriously" and that British centres had stopped using the physical controls in 2008. A court accepted the officers believed they were acting lawfully when using the techniques.
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