Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 13th December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the conditions of immigration detainees who are being detained for indeterminate lengths of time due to a lack of appropriate alternative accommodation.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

The Government treats detainee welfare as a matter of the utmost seriousness and expects the highest standards from those who manage the detention estate on its behalf. Conditions at all detention facilities, are kept under regular review. Independent scrutiny is a vital part of assurance that our removal centres are secure and humane. We will continue to implement actions in response to recommendations made by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and by the individual centre’s Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) in their published reports

Any asylum seeker, including foreign national offenders released from de-tention on bail, can apply for accommodation and other support if they would otherwise be destitute.

Asylum seekers who require support are housed where there is appropriate accommodation available. Agreements between the Government and participating local authorities are voluntary and our dispersal policy ensures a reasonable spread amongst UK local authorities

Decisions about accommodation and detention are made on a case by case basis. We work closely with the Police, HM Prison and Probation service to source and offer suitable accommodation as quickly as possible when it is required.

We are aware of some cases that are waiting for accommodation to be allocated and we are working closely with the accommodation providers, Police and HM Prison and Probation Service to source suitable accommodation. These are complex cases, as they relate mostly to Foreign National Offenders who have specific accommodation needs and restrictions that must be met before they can be released safely from detention.

Detention and removal of those with no lawful basis to stay in the UK are essential parts of effective immigration controls. However, we do not detain individuals indefinitely when people are detained, it is for the minimum time possible and detention is reviewed on a regular basis.

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