Anne Owers, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, today issued a report on four immigration holding centres. Problems that she highlights include:
Staff expressed concern about the suitability and safety of the new escort vehicles
The facility at Portsmouth was inadequate, cramped and potentially unsafe
At Leeds, detainees with special needs, including those at risk of self-harm, were routinely held in police cells
Records of the detainee population, and of incidents of self-harm or violence, were not always kept in the centres themselves
Responding to the report, Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive of The Refugee Council, said:
“Once again a report on the detention of asylum seekers highlights that their conditions are inadequate, both when being transported and when held in cells. We are pointing out again that these people have committed no crime – despite their vulnerability, they are being shabbily treated. The commissioner has specially pointed to the detention of children. They shouldn’t be there – as our aptly named campaign – No Place for a Child – points out.”
For further information and interviews contact press office: Chris Pitt 0207 346 1213 (Switchboard: 0207 346 6700). For urgent or out of hours inquiries ring 0870 0555500 and ask for pager 865169.