Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) victims of trafficking (b) victims of torture and (c) people with other special reception needs were detained in the UK in 2018.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

All decisions to detain individuals, or to maintain the detention of individuals that are considered to be particularly vulnerable to harm in immigration detention, are made in line with the Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention (AAR) policy, found at

The AAR policy has strengthened our focus on vulnerability, and the existing presumption against the detention of those who are particularly vulnerable to harm in detention. Decisions on whether or not to detain individuals have never been predicated on absolute exclusions for any particular group. There will always be occasions on which it will be appropriate to detain particular individuals.

Decisions to detain are made on a case-by-case basis through the striking of a balance between any vulnerabilities identified and the immigration factors of a case. Only where the immigration factors outweigh the level of risk identified under the adults at risk policy, will detention be maintained. For this reason, individuals will not necessarily be released from detention because they have been identified as an adult at risk. Individuals identified as an adult at risk may in any case be released from detention for other reasons, such as a casework barrier to their removal.

The Detention Service Order ‘Management of Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention 08/2016’ found here;, provides requirements and guidance for the Home Office and staff in Immigration Removal Centres in the safeguarding and risk management of individuals considered ‘at risk’. This Detention Service Order compliments several others which may be applicable to an ‘at risk’ or vulnerable person detained in the immigration detention estate. All Detention Service Orders can be accessed through the website.

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