Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 14th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Scriven Lord Scriven Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people held in immigration detention (1) self-harmed, and (2) tried to commit suicide, in the years (a) 2015, (b) 2016, and (c) 2017, to date.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

All incidents of self harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature.

Staff at all immigration removal centres (IRC) are trained to identify those at risk of self harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. 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 and detention services order 06/2008 Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT).

The Home Office requires IRC service providers to record management information on the number of incidents of self harm that have required medical treatment. Information on incidents of self harm which do not require medical treatment, or where the intent of the self harm attempt is suicide, is not readily available from central statistical records and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost through a manual search of individual case files.

Provisional management information for the period from 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2017 shows that in 2015 there were 411 incidents of self harm requiring medical attention, in 2016 there were 342 incidents and 224 incidents in 2017 (to 30 June). These numbers do not necessarily equate to the numbers of detainees requiring medical treatment. One individual may have received medical treatment on more than one occasion. This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

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