Immigrants: Detainees

Home Department written question – answered on 26th April 2011.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost to the public purse of the arrest, detention and removal of an individual detained under immigration rules was in the latest period for which figures are available.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Immigration

It is not currently possible to calculate an average cost for an arrest without incurring disproportionate cost, as the necessary information is not available in the required format.

We estimate that detention costs, on average, £110 per night-length of detention will vary according to the individual.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report "Management of Asylum Applications by the UK Border Agency", published on 23 January 2009 and available to view at: provides a range of upper and lower-end cost estimates for people who are detained or removed in different circumstances (for example, for a single undetained adult who is removed after exhausting his/her appeal rights, the process will cost between £7,900 and £17,000 excluding accommodation and support costs, and between £12,000 and £25,600 including accommodation and support costs). A copy of this report is available in the House Library.

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