Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many referrals to the National Referral Mechanism for those who are detained for immigration purposes there have been; and how many of those referred were (a) released and (b) kept in detention.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The Home Office record the number of all individuals referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and this information is published Quarterly by the National Crime Agency, found at

This information does not distinguish between those detained under immigration powers and those living in the community. The reason for this is two-fold, firstly because the NRM referral is not an immigration route by which individuals should regularise their stay in the United Kingdom and secondly, because a person’s status in immigration detention is not permanent and can change. The use of immigration detention in all cases is subject to regular reviews and consequently, a change in circumstance may result in a different consideration. It is quite possible that an immigration detainee is referred to the National Referral Mechanism during a detention period and is released into the community at any point during that process.

The decision to detain, or maintain detention of individuals that have been referred to the NRM is made in line with the Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention (AAR) policy. Consequently, the decision to release an individual because of vulnerabilities highlighted in an NRM referral, is also considered in line with this policy and is recorded as such on central records.

The Home Office does not currently centrally record any particular indicator of risk under the AAR policy. This is because the AAR policy is based on evidence levels rather than level of risk and there are currently no indica-tors of risk which are considered more significant than others. The Home Office therefore, currently, centrally record the relevant level of evidence under the policy, rather than the indicator(s) of risk.

In light of the above, we are therefore unable to directly report on the num-ber of NRM referrals for those who are detained for immigration purposes there have been and of those, who many were released from detention, or for whom their detention was maintained.

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