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Immigration: Detention

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th June 2012.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Henley on 11 June (WA 197), whether they will publish (1) figures for self-harm during immigration detention, (2) the UK Border Agency's standard specifications on construction of holding room facilities for airport operators and advice on accommodation and security requirements for holding rooms, (3) the written instructions on the application of Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, (4) the revised asylum casework instruction on Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, (5) the detention services order on Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, (6) the manual and materials used for training medical practitioners, other healthcare staff working in immigration removal centres and case owners on Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, and (7) the internal audit of compliance, quality and performance on Rule 35 decisions, once completed; and, if so, where they will be published.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley The Minister of State, Home Department

The UK Border Agency does not record centrally every incident of self-harm by detained persons, only those where some form of medical treatment was required. Figures for incidents of self-harm requiring medical assistance in each of the past three calendar years are:

2009: 204;

2010: 185; and

2011: 157.

To put this in context, 28,001 persons entered detention in 2009, 25,904 in 2010 and 27,072 in 2011.

Data on self-harm requiring medical assistance are normally used for management information only and are not subject to the detailed checks that apply for National Statistics publications. They are provisional and subject to change.

The UK Border Agency's standard specifications on the construction of holding rooms were not prepared with the intention for publication as they contain certain security considerations not suitable for the public domain.

A revised Detention Services Order on Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 is under development and will be published when ready. The existing Detention Services Order (3/2008 Special Illnesses and Conditions) is available on the UK Border Agency website at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/detention-services-orders/.

The UK Border Agency will publish the revised asylum casework instruction on Rule 35 once the responses to the consultation exercise on the revisions, which closed on 18 May, have been considered. Until then, the existing Rule 35 Asylum Instruction is available on the UK Border Agency website at: http://www.ukba. homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/asylumprocessguidance/detention.

There is at present no single manual or standardised material used for training medical practitioners or other healthcare staff in immigration removal centres on the application of Rule 35. Case owners are trained to consider all material facts on a case by case basis. The instructions available to assist case owner decision-making are grouped under "Policy and Law" on the UK Border Agency website, including guidance on how to assess Rule 35 reports and the required actions.

Existing procedures and safeguards are being further improved by a range of measures including: improved written instructions, with a revised Asylum Casework Instruction and Detention Services Order, and training for medical practitioners and healthcare staff working in immigration removal centres and case owners. After full implementation of these revised measures, the UK Border Agency will review compliance, quality and performance through an internal audit. The results of the audit, once carried out, will be published on the UK Border Agency website.

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