In Parliament

Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention 2015 

Parliamentary Debate on Inquiry Findings, September 2015

Progress of the Immigration Bill 2015

A summary of parliamentary questions  relevant to immigration detention from July 2015 onwards can be found here. A summary of findings and all links to Hansard are included. 

 

December 2015

29th December 2015: HL4778 (Parliamentary Inquiry)

Lord Hylton (Crossbench) asked what the Government’s response is to the Resolution of the House of Commons of 10 September calling on them to implement the recommendations of the report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into detention. Lord Bates replied that “detention plays a vital role in maintaining effective immigration control”, that “there are safeguards in place to prevent unnecessary or arbitrary detention," and that “we cannot detain indefinitely under immigration powers.” He also referred to the Stephen Shaw Review to be published before the Lords Committee stage for the Immigration Bill.


24th December 2015: HL4493 (Removal of refused asylum seekers)

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Lib Dem) asked to which countries refused asylum seekers were removed between 2010 and 2014, and how many were removed to each country. Lord Bates referred him to data on removals and voluntary departures available in the latest Home Office release, Immigration Statistics: July to September 2015, table rv.06

 
24 December 2015: HL4497 (Self harm and suicide)

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Lib Dem) asked what assessment has been made of how many asylum seekers facing removal had self-harmed or completed suicide in the past year. Lord Bates replied that the requested data cannot be extracted without incurring disproportionate cost.


21st December: HL4492 (Numbers of people detained)

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Lib Dem) asked how many people are detained in each detention centre. Lord Bates referred him a table providing the latest published information on the total number of people detained as at 30 September 2015 (3,531) and by centre. (To view table, clink link above)


16th December 2015:  HC 17388 (Deportations)

Adam Afriyie (Conservative, Windsor) asked what proportion of foreign nationals convicted of a crime were deported to their country of origin in each of the last three years.  James Brokenshire referred him to a table showing the number of foreign national offenders (FNOs) referred to Immigration Enforcement for consideration of removal action, and the number of removals for the same period. (To view the table click on the link above)


15 December 2015: HC 19539 (Detainees in prisons)

David Anderson (Labour Blaydon) asked how many immigration detainees were held in each prison establishment in each of the last 12 months. James Brokenshire replied that the information requested is not routinely collected and so could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

**See responses from the Ministry of Justice to AVID’s Freedom of Information requests for numbers and locations of those held in prison under immigration acts (from Dec 2014 onwards) on our website here


8th December 2015: HL4023  (Fires in detention centres)

Lord Falconer of Thoroton (Labour) asked on how many occasions the fire brigade has been called to an incident at a detention centre in the last five years.  Lord Bates replied that information for the complete data period requested is not held centrally, but that in 2013 there were 12 attendances by the fire brigade for fires; in 2014, 10 and in 2015, 8.


8th December 2015: HL4120 (LGBTI detainees)  

Lord Scriven (Lib Dem) asked what progress has been made in preventing the bullying, harassment and abuse of LGBTI people in detention, in the light of the recent Parliamentary inquiry and concerns expressed by UKLGIG. Lord Bates replied that the Government takes the welfare of detainees “very seriously” and that “no form of ill-treatment or discrimination is tolerated.” He referred Lord Scriven to the Stephen Shaw Review and stated that guidance for detention centre staff is being updated to include a new detention services order on the care and management of LGB detainees.


2nd December 2015:  HC 16596  (Pregnant women)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked what provisions are in place to safeguard the welfare of pregnant women in Yarl's Wood detention centre. James Brokenshire replied that pregnant women “are not normally detained”, except where removal is imminent and medical advice doesn’t suggest the baby is due before the expected removal date. He also stated that Yarl’s Wood has a “dedicated Care Suite”  for vulnerable and pregnant women, staffed by a dedicated female member of staff.  


2nd December 2015: HC 16551  (Use of handcuffs for hospital escorts) 

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many women taken to hospital from Yarl's Wood have been handcuffed in transit in each of the last six months. James Brokenshire referred to a table detailing no use of handcuffs from May-Aug 2015, 1 occasion in September and 6 in October.


2nd December 2015: HC 16876   (Hunger strikes) 

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many women held in Yarl's Wood refused to eat for one or more consecutive days in 2015. James Brokenshire replied that between 1st Jan and 30th June 2015 84 women were recorded as refusing food or fluid.


2nd December 2015: HC 16553 (Hunger strikes)   

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many women detained in Yarl's Wood went on hunger strike in 2015. James Brokenshire replied that between 1st Jan and 30th June 2015 84 women were recorded as refusing food or fluid.


2nd December 2015: HC 17457 (Longest detention)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked, pursuant to the answer of 22 October 2015 to Question 10915, what the longest recorded time is that a woman without any outstanding criminal offences has been held in detention since 2010. James Brokenshire replied that it had been 588 days.

 
2nd December 2015: HC 17458  (Emergency alarm responses)  

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked about the average and longest recorded waiting time between a detainee at Yarl's Wood sounding the emergency alarm in their room and an officer arriving to assist them in each of the last three years. James Brokenshire replied that the information is not collected centrally and so cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost.

 

November

26th November 2015: HC 16866   (Removal of young people over 18yrs)

Sarah Champion (Labour, Rotherham) asked how many young people over 18 who applied for asylum as unaccompanied children in each year since 2010 have been (a) removed from the UK and (b) left voluntarily. James Brokenshire referred to a table detailing numbers of former unaccompanied asylum seeking children aged between 18 and 25 who were served with Removal Directions for 2010-14  (to view table click on title link).


26th November 2015: HC 16867 (Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children)   

Sarah Champion (Labour, Rotherham) asked how many people aged between 18 and 25 who claimed asylum as unaccompanied children and had their claims certified have been removed from the UK in each of the last five years. James Brokenshire referred to the same table identified in Question 16866 (above)


26th November 2015: HC 16437  (Male staff at Yarl’s Wood)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked what proportion of the officers employed at Yarl’s Wood detention centre are male. James Brokenshire replied that as of 17 November 2015 it was 51%. He also stated that deployment of staff to accommodation units is reviewed on a daily basis by Serco, with the aim of two-thirds of staff on female units being female officers.


25th November 2015: HC 16550 (Infectious diseases)  

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked what the Dept. of Health’s policy is on testing detainees for infectious diseases such as TB. Jane Ellison (DoH) replied that in April 2015, Public Health England, NHS England, and Home Office Immigration Enforcement jointly published shared commitments on health and wellbeing in detention which include “a joint priority to improve the pro-active detection, surveillance and management of infectious diseases”.


25th November 2015: HC 13206 (Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children)   

Louise Haigh (Labour, Sheffield, Heeley) asked how many former unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were removed to (a) Afghanistan, (b) Syria, (c) Libya, (d) Iraq, (e) Iran and (f) Albania in each year between 2007 and 2015. James Brokenshire referred to a table detailing the figures up to 30th June 2015 (to view table click on title link).


25th November 2015: HC 16875 (Mental health at Yarl’s Wood) 

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked what proportion of detainees held in Yarl's Wood are receiving medication for mental health problems; and what proportion of those detainees have had their dosage increased since being in detention. Alistair Burt replied that the requested information is not collected centrally.


25th November 2015: HC 17137 (Return of refused asylum seekers)

Anne-Marie Morris (Conservative, Newton Abbott) asked how many people whose applications for asylum were rejected have been repatriated in 2015 to date. James Brokenshire referred to a table detailing the number of people removed or departing voluntarily for Jan-June 2015. Total enforced returns: 1,943. Total voluntary returns: 904 (to view table click on title link).


24th November 2015: HC 16552 (Human Trafficking)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many detainees at Yarl's Wood (a) claim that they are victims of human trafficking and (b) have been identified by the National Referral Mechanism as victims of human trafficking. James Brokenshire stated that the data on this is not collected centrally and accurate figures are not available.


24th November 2015: HC 16438 (Self-harm)  

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked what proportion of women detained in Yarl's Wood in the last year have (a) attempted to or (b) inflicted harm upon themselves. James Brokenshire replied that between July 2014 and June 2015 there were 54 incidents of self-harm requiring medical treatment.


24th November 2015: HC 16500 (Lampard Review of Yarl’s Wood)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked what is the likely publication date for the independent review of Yarl's Wood, commissioned by Serco. James Brokenshire replied that it is due to be published by the end of the year.


24th November 2015: HC 16436 (MPs refused access to Yarl’s Wood)  

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many MPs have had a request to visit Yarl's Wood refused in the last 12 months, and on what grounds. James Brokenshire replied that one MP had been refused and that “requests to visit centres must be carefully considered and planned to preserve the privacy and dignity of the individuals who are detained.”


24th November 2015: HC 16576 (Access to legal representation)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many women held in Yarl's Wood have legal representation. James Brokenshire replied that “all detainees at immigration removal centres are able to access legal advice through a duty solicitor scheme provided by the Legal Aid Agency” and that a recent HMIP report had found waiting times to be short.


24th November 2015: HC 16676 (FNOs detained post-sentence)  

Paul Blomfield (Labour, Sheffield Central) asked what proportion of detainees are (a) foreign national offenders convicted of immigration related offences, (b) foreign national offenders convicted of other offences and (c) non-foreign nationals. James Brokenshire replied that at the end of June 2015, 25% (884) of detainees were foreign national with previous convictions, but that isn’t possible to provide a breakdown of the data without incurring disproportionate costs.


19th November 2015: HC 14794 (Cost of deportations)

Gavin Newlands (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire North) asked, pursuant to the Answer of 14 October 2015 to Question 11080 on deportations, to which countries the 1,780 foreign national offenders referred to have been deported. James Brokenshire replied that “the Home Office does not disclose country specific information as its disclosure could prejudice relations between the UK and foreign governments.”


19th November 2015 : HL 3401  (Shaw Review)

Lord Ramsbotham (Crossbench) asked when the Government expect to publish the Shaw Review into the welfare of vulnerable people in detention. Lord Bates replied that “we want to ensure that this is before the Immigration Bill completes its passage through Parliament.”


18th November 2015: HL 3285 (Cost of deportations)

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Lib Dem) asked, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 13 October (HL2299), why they do not hold information on the cost of deportations. Lord Bates replied that the Home Office has published information on the average cost of detention and removal but “it is not broken down by initial application type” and that to do would incur disproportionate cost. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/costs-involved-in-detaining-and-removing-illegal-migrants


17th November 2015: HC 14743 (Deport first, appeal later)

Gavin Newlands (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire North) asked how many people deported under the deport first, appeal later measures have successfully appealed against their deportation; how many of those have returned to the UK; and what the length of time was that each such person spent outside the UK between their deportation and return. James Brokenshire replied that there had been 13 successful appeals, but that the additional data requested is not available as it would incur disproportionate costs to collate.


17th November 2015: HC 14745 (Deportations)

Gavin Newlands (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire North) asked what estimate has been made of the number of foreign national offenders deported between July 2014 and August 2015 who returned to a country other than their country of nationality. James Brokenshire replied that that the data requested is not available as it would incur disproportionate costs to collate.


4th November 2015: HC 13393 (Pregnant women)

Kate Osamor (Labour, Edmonton) asked how many pregnant women are detained at Yarl's Wood. James Brokenshire replied that “although we are now recording management information on the number of women who have disclosed their pregnancy to the Home Office, collection of data about the detention of pregnant women will be limited.”


2nd November 2015 : HL 2668 (Parliamentary Inquiry – mental health)

Baroness Hamwee (Lib Dem) asked what assessment has been made of the recommendation in the Parliamentary Inquiry report that the wording of the Government’s policy on the detention of people with mental illnesses should be changed to that which was in place before August 2010. Lord Bates said the findings of the Stephen Shaw review into the welfare of vulnerable people in detention were being “carefully considered” and will be published shortly alongside the Government’s response.


2nd November 2015: HL 2669 (Rule 35)

Baroness Hamwee (Lib Dem) asked what assessment has been made of the extent to which medical professionals are using the definition of torture as defined in R (EO & Ors) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 1236 (Admin) when completing Rule 35 reports concerning people in detention. Lord Bates replied that doctors in detention centres have been “reminded of the need to use the definition of torture” set out in the specified case.