Detainees: Sexual Harassment

Home Office written question – answered on 21st June 2018.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many allegations of (a) sexual assault and (b) harassment by staff have been made by detainees in detention centres in each of the last five years.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

We expect the highest standards from those we entrust with the safety and welfare of those in detention.

Management information shows that there were 25 allegations of sexual assault made by detainees against staff at immigration removal centres between financial year 2014/15 (the earliest year for which data is available) and 2017/18. Of these 25 allegations, 2 were made in 2014/15, 3 in 2015/16, 6 in 2016/17 and 14 in 2017/18. This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

All complaints made by detainees at an immigration removal centre (IRC) are investigated by the IRC supplier in accordance with Detention Services Order 03/2015. Any allegations of serious misconduct made by a detainee against staff at an IRC are also referred to the Home Office Professional Standards Unit for investigation. Where a detainee, or someone on behalf of a detainee, alleges that a member of staff has committed a sexual offence against them the police will automatically be notified, even if the detainee does not wish the matter to be reported or to make a formal complaint.

Information on the number of allegations of harassment made by detainees against staff is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

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