Harmondsworth watchdog: ‘Centre still failing vulnerable’ - Refugee Council
July 1, 2014

Harmondsworth watchdog: ‘Centre still failing vulnerable’

Harmondsworth Independent Monitoring Board has revealed new evidence that the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre is still failing vulnerable detainees.

The report details a disturbing case of a young man held at the centre who claimed to be 15. Anyone claiming to be a child should be assessed by social services and not held in detention. Contrary to this policy, the young man was instead held for four months, despite being assessed as being at risk of self harm.

The watchdog also highlights a lack of therapeutic care facilities for detainees with mental health problems, and details confusion and distress among detainees who can be frequently moved between centres without any explanation.

Refugee Council Policy Manager Judith Dennis said:

“It’s extremely concerning but sadly unsurprising that vulnerable people are being failed by Harmondsworth. The Centre’s casual attitude towards locking up children is particularly abhorrent.

“The Government’s unacceptable treatment of the vulnerable people it chooses to detain for administrative convenience is unfortunately the hallmark of a callous system which continues to punish people who have committed no crime.”