PQs - May 2018

Parliamentary Questions asked of Government and answered in May 2018:


25 May 2018: HC 146167 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Angus MacNeil (SNP) asked whether the Home Office pays private companies for each person in detention and each person deported. Caroline Nokes replied that yes there are payments "for the provision of contractually defined services" which includes "operation, management and maintenance of" detention centres and "the removal of individuals from the UK" including "the staffing of short-term holding facilities at ports and reporting centres and the provision of escorting and medical staff to escort individuals" during deportations.


22 May 2018: HC 141675 (Prisoners: Caribbean)

David Lammy (Labour) asked the Home Secretary about Carribean-born foreign nationals serving custodial sentences, in relation to the Windrush scandal. He asked how many older Carribean-born people are serving custodial sentences, how many of those sentences relate to use of false documents or illegal working, how many of those people have been or are currently being held in immigration removal centres and how many have been deported. Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes gave information about 'nationalities of time serving individuals' from Ministry of Justice, information about nationality of detained foreign nationals from Home Office, and migration statistics data which gives a breakdown by nationality of all removals. She said that "providing the remainder of the information requested would require a manual check of individual records which could only be done at disproportionate cost."


21 May 2018: HC 144298 (Home Office: Compensation)

Steve Reed (Labour) asked about compensation given out by the Home Office for unlawful detentions and deportations since 2010. Caroline Nokes gave information on unlawful detention compensation, but said that no data was available on deportations


2016/17          3.3

2015/16          4.1

2014/15          4.0

2013/14          4.8

2012/13          5.0


21 May 2018: HC 144373 (Brook House Immigration Removal Centre)

Catherine West (Labour) asked what information the Home Office holds on G4S staff at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre being charged for unacceptable use of force against detainees. Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes replied "Allegations of criminal conduct committed by former G4S employees at Brook House were referred to Sussex Police in September 2017. Criminal investigations, and decisions on whether to instigate criminal proceedings, are matters for the police and Crown Prosecution Service respectively."


15 May 2018: Private Notice Question in House of Lords Volume 791 (Asylum Seekers)

Lord Beecham (Labour) asked measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of asylum seekers during periods of detention. Baroness Williams of Trafford replied on behalf of government, said that dignity and welfare of detainees is of the utmost importance, detention and removal are essential parts of the UK's immigration system and that the Home Office is working with Mitie Care and Custody, "to ensure that appropriate focus is placed on welfare considerations during removal from the UK."

Lord Beecham raised issues found by HMIP's Chief Inspector of Prisons regarding a charter deportation flight organised by private firm Capita, where unnecessary force and restraint was used. Lord Beecham asked how many cases of mistreatment of prisoners and asylum seekers by private companies will the Government tolerate before terminating contracts with private firms and taking the service back in-house? Baroness Williams said that criticism of private firms was 'dogmatic' but that a 'service improvement plan' for contracted companies will be issued shortly. She made reference to training in the HOMES techniques and said there would be refresher training courses for new contractors.

Baroness Hamwee referred to the case of Jimmy Mubenga who died during his removal by the Home Office. Lord Harris of Harringey asked about the automatic reporting system, how many such reports had been received and what had been the response by the Home Office. Lord Scriven quotes the report “Clearly, some senior-level intervention is required to ensure that the situation is rectified without delay”. He asks what criteria have been laid down to ensure that this can never happen again? 


14 May 2018: HC 142377 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Angus MacNeil (SNP) asked what payments had been made by the Home Office to private companies for keeping people in detention and deporting people in relation to immigration cases in each of the last five years. Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes said that public disclosure of such information would "prejudice the commercial interests of the Home Office and its suppliers." However she said that the Home Office publishes payments in excess of £25K on its website and that more information would be published by July 2018 for the period after January 2017.


11 May 2018: HC141663 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Desmond Swayne (Conservative) asked what the mean and median time spent is by detainees currently at the Gatwick detention centres. Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes provided information on the length of detention of detained people from the Government website, but explained that the data is not broken down by individual place of detention.


10 May 2018: HL 7288 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat) asked how many people were detained for immigration purposes in 2010, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Baroness Williams of Trafford replied, saying that the number of people entering the detention estate, under Immigration Act powers, was 25,904 in 2010, 32,447 in 2015, 28,903 in 2016 and 27,331 in 2017. This information is from the government website.


10 May 2018: HL 7291 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat) asked what is the average annual cost per person held in immigration detention centres. Baroness Williams of Trafford replied saying that "the average cost to detain an individual in immigration detention is provided on a per day basis. The current daily cost per detainee is £85.97 (annual £31,378)." This information is from the government website.


8 May 2018: HC 139423 (Undocumented Migrants)

Angus MacNeil (SNP) asked the Home Secretary which private companies are involved in the detention and deportation of people deemed to be and under suspicion of being in the UK illegally. Caroline Nokes replied "Escorting deportation: Mitie Care and Custody. Detention: G4S (Brook House and Tinsley House Gatwick IRC’s), Mitie Care and Custody (Heathrow IRC and Campsfield House IRC), Geo (Dungavel IRC, Scotland), Serco (Yarlswood IRC)."


4 May 2018: HC 138565 (Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre)

Alex Sobel (Labour) asked how many people have been detained for periods longer than 28 days at Yarl's Wood Detention Centre since 2010. Caroline Nokes gave this information from the Government website.


2 May 2018: HC 139044 (Torture)

Paul Sweeney (Labour) asked the Home Secretary what steps her department is taking to review the guidance in respect of torture; and with which organisations her department has consulted on that guidance. Caroline Nokes replied: "The Government laid draft revised statutory guidance before Parliament on 21 March 2018, and the corresponding statutory instruments on 27 March, to implement a new definition of torture for the purposes of immigration detention." She said that the Home Office consulted NGOs and inspectorate bodies.


1 May 2018: HC 138365 (Deportation)

Steve McCabe (Labour) asked the Home Secretary about the Home Office Manual of Escorting Safely (HOMES) - when it was developed, how many times it has been reviewed, when the last time it was reviewed was and the dates of previous updates. Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes said that the development of the Home Office Manual for Escorting Safely (HOMES) system started in 2013 and it was rolled out for escorts in June 2014. There has been independent reviews in March 2015, November 2016 and April 2018. A redacted version of the November 2016 version is published online.


1 May 2018: HC 138366 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Steve McCabe (Labour) asked the Ministry for Justice whether the pay rates for immigration-related detainees are consistent throughout the prison service. Justice Minister Rory Stewart replied that immigration detainees undertaking work in prisons are paid the same amount as other prisoners, at a rate that varies nationally depending on the work being done.

"Governors must pay at least the national minimum rate of £4 per week (Prison Service Order (PSO) 4460 sets out the national policy for Prisoners’ Pay), though in many cases the rate will be considerably higher. Prisoners or immigration detainees who want to work but for whom no suitable employment is available, or who are unable to work, receive the minimum ‘unemployment’ pay of £2.50 per week."


1 May 2018: HC 138367 (Immigrants: Detainees)

Steve McCabe (Labour) asked the Home Secretary, in follow up to his question 136754 from 24th April, what the longest period is for a detainee to have been held; and how many and what proportion of released detainees were subsequently detained within one month of their release and six months of their release. Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes said that the Home Office does not hold the information requested on released detainees who were subsequently detained. She gave information on lengths of detetion from published Government data from the Gov website.