Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

House of Lords written question – answered on 9th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the appropriateness of the current number of female officers employed by Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are taking steps to ensure that women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre who are on suicide watch are only supervised by female officers; and if so, what steps are being taken.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Home Office and its service providers comply with all relevant employment legislation. The service provider for Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre (IRC), Serco, is required under their contract to employ sufficient female officers to enable appropriate searching and security arrangements for female detainees.

Yarl’s Wood IRC has 52% male detainee custody officers (DCOs) and 48% female DCOs. A new recruitment drive is underway, with a review of how flexible and family friendly hours might be enhanced to attract more women recruits as well as devising recruitment campaigns that target female audiences.

Assessment Care in Detention and Teamwork (ACDT) is the system used for monitoring individuals considered to be at risk of self harm and is operated across the detention estate.

ACDT is a care planning system whereby staff from all areas work together to create a safe and caring environment and provide individual care to detainees.

All incidents of self harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Staff at all centres are trained to identify those at risk of self harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. Notices in various languages are displayed in IRCs setting out that, where there is a concern about a fellow detainee, this should be brought to the attention of a member of staff. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the Prevention of Self-Harm ACDT requires centre managers to appoint trained assessors and named case managers to provide individualised care to detainees based on their particular needs.

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