Baronees Hamwee asked a multi-tiered question on the numbers of asylum applicants released from the Detained Fast Track since 26th June 2015. Lord Bates replied that 323 had been released.
Baroness Suttie asked how many cases or outbreaks of reportable diseases had occurred in prisons and detention in the last three years. Lord Prior of Brampton provided a table breaking down the numbers.
Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) asked in what circumstances a person liable to be arrested for deportation is notified in advance that they will be arrested. James Brokenshire outlined the circumstances under which someone may be deported and said that no notification of arrest is given.
Lord Hylton asked whether the government will implement a time limit and whether they plan to take steps to ensure those who have suffered rape, torture or sexual assault are not detained. Lord Bates replied that 'it is not possible to detain indefinitely' and quoted recent statistics. He said the government has no plans to introduce a time limit. He cited current policy on the use of detention and the criteria relating to so called 'vulnerable groups'.
Lord Taylor of Warwick asked what steps were being taken to improve the fast track system. Lord Bates referred him to the Ministerial Statement on the Fast Track of 2nd July available here.
Vicky Foxcroft (Lab, Lewisham Deptford) asked if the Parliamentary Inquiry recommendation of a time limit on detention of 28 days would be implemented. James Brokenshire replied that detention is part of a firm and fair system, and that 'it is not possible to detain indefinitely'
Lord Hylton asked what assessment has been made of whether detention is an area where cost savings could be made. Lord Bates replied that savings are already made in the detention estate through use of competition
Baroness Suttie asked whether latent TB infection screening is routine in detention. Lord Bates said it wasn't at present but there was a commitment made in April 2015 between the Home Office, Public Health England and NHS England to review this. Amongst other things a working group would be looking at it over the summer.
Paul Blomfeld (Lab, Sheffield Central) asked whether, in light of the Detention Action case, if there would be a suspension of forced returns of people who had previously had their asylum appeal heard under the Fast Track rules. James Brokenshire replied that the Lord Chancellor was appealing, and in the meantime 'anyone who has had a fast track appeal who is still in detention awaiting removal has been afforded the opportunity to seek legal advice and submit further representations before any removal action is taken.....'
Tulip Siddiq (Lab, Hampstead and Kilburn) asked what information the government holds on the average length of time taken to find community accomodation for those held in detention and found to be under 18 following a Merton Compliant assessment. James Brokenshire said the information was not available for cost reasons, and referred to good practice guidance.
Baroness Suttie asked whether records are kept on the proportion of new arrivals in detention who have communicable diseases. Lord Prior of Brampton replied outlining the current arrangements for healthcare and screening in detention, adding that detention centres have a duty to notify Public Health England Centre's Health Protection Teams of cases or outbreaks of reportable diseases.
Lord Bates written statement on DFT
James Brokenshire written statement on DFT