Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre: Females

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd March 2020.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Labour, Birmingham, Yardley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on the use of restraints when transporting women from Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre to be deported.

Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Labour, Birmingham, Yardley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on the use of fines for contractors that do not meet the timescale for getting detainees to report for deportation; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect of such fines on the deportation of women from Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

It may be necessary to restrain an individual in detention in order to reduce the risk of escape, prevent harm to the public, detainees or staff, or to prevent damage to property. In addition, an individual may be restrained to prevent them from self-harming or obstructing their removal.

Published guidance, and the training received by detainee custody officers makes it clear that physical force, and the use of waist restraint belts or handcuffs, should only be used after a thorough assessment of risk, and in consideration of each individual’s personal circumstances. Restraints should be removed at the earliest opportunity.

The Home Office reviews all reports resulting from a use of force to ensure that techniques are used proportionately, that they are justified, and are used for the minimum period required.

There are contractual obligations for IRC suppliers to ensure detainees report on time to the escorting contractor to ensure compliance with scheduled removal directions. Although the Home Office can impose financial and operational remedies if obligations as part of the contract are not met, this would be based on a thorough investigation and consideration of any mitigating factors. In these circumstances, detainee welfare would take precedence over imposing any such penalties.

Robust statutory oversight is provided by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Boards, ensuring that detainees are treated with proper standards of care and decency in detention and during the removal process. Reports by HMIP and IMBs are published on their respective websites.

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