In response to the announcement that places in immigration detention centres are to increase by 60% under plans from the government’s UK Border Agency, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“This is disappointing news, particularly the announcement that some of the extra places will be used to ‘fast track’ more people through the asylum system. These are people who are detained on arrival, who have committed no crime, and who are often extremely vulnerable, yet who are locked up in circumstances where there is little access to information and not knowing how long they will be imprisoned.
“Detention should always be a last resort, and never be used before someone’s asylum claim has been decided. We fear that as a result of not having adequate time or resources to be able to present their case, there are people in the fact track system who are being wrongly refused safety here. The new procedures of the general asylum system should be perfectly capable of processing claims within the government’s overall timescale and locking up people who have done nothing wrong is costly and unnecessary.”