Detainees: Self-harm and Suicide

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 incidents of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm requiring medical treatment occurred at each immigration removal centre in each of the last three years.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

Any death in immigration detention is subject to investigation by the police, the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) and the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

In the period 1 January 2016 to 30 September 2018 there has been one death of an individual detained under immigration powers, that has been determined by a coroner as a suicide on the balance of probabilities. This death occurred at The Verne immigration removal centre (IRC).

On 29 November the Government published additional information on those held within the immigration detention estate in direct response to the statement made by the Home Secretary on 24 July. This included data on the number of deaths in immigration detention in 2017.

Staff at all immigration removal centres are trained to identify those at risk of self harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. 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).

Self harm incidents requiring medical treatment in each IRC for the last three years are shown in the table below. This is provisional management information that has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

Immigration Removal Centre

2016

2017

2018 to 30 June 2018

Brook House

53

54

34

Campsfield House

19

19

5

Colnbrook

61

62

69

Dungavel House

1

11

4

Harmondsworth

90

100

108

Morton Hall

54

113

54

The Verne

26

27

Closed

Tinsley House

3

4

8

Yarl’s Wood

33

59

7

These are the number of incidents of self harm requiring medical treatment; they do not necessarily equate to the number of individuals requiring medical treatment as one individual may have received treatment on more than one occasion.

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