A shocking new investigation by The Times newspaper has highlighted that asylum seekers in the north east of England are being housed behind easily identifiable red doors, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and harassment.
The newspaper uncovered that asylum seekers’ houses had been targeted with dog excrement, eggs and threatening graffiti. 155 out of 168 houses identified by the paper had red front doors. The paper found one woman cowering inside her home as thugs shouted racist abuse outside.
G4S, the private company responsible for housing asylum seekers in the area, said no asylum seekers had complained about the doors. However, in our experience, asylum seekers are often extremely unlikely to complain about their accommodation as they are extremely worried doing so could impact on the outcome of their claims.
Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr Lisa Doyle said: “It’s completely unacceptable that asylum seekers – already the victims of persecution and unimaginable horror in their home countries – are being subjected to further abuse here in Britain, the very place they hoped to find safety.
“The Refugee Council has long held concerns about the quality and security of asylum accommodation. The Government must not tolerate its contractors taking a lax attitude towards housing these vulnerable people; such an approach is clearly jeopardising their safety.”
Campaigners have repeatedly raised this issue with the Government but no action has been taken until now.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire expressed concern and announced an urgent audit of accommodation in the area. G4S has promised its subcontractor would repaint the doors.