Napier Barracks: Fires

Home Office written question – answered on 4th February 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the recent fire at Napier Barracks.

Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what damage was caused by the fire at Napier barracks; and how that fire has affected its ability to be used as asylum accommodation.

Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any (a) asylum seekers and (b) staff sustained injuries as a result of the fire at Napier Barracks.

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

A number of asylum seekers at Napier Barracks previously tested positive for coronavirus. In line with advice from Public Health England, over the last week the Home Office moved a number of asylum seekers from the site.

The purpose of this was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and conduct a site-wide deep cleaning exercise.

On Friday, 29 January, a number of asylum seekers who remained at Napier objected to not being moved off site. They became aggressive toward staff on site, turned violent and set about destroying the barracks, putting lives in danger.

An accommodation block was set on fire resulting in a kitchen and canteen being badly damaged. The fire-damaged block has been secured and cordoned off and other blocks remain in use. Meals continue to be provided to those accommodated at the site.

Kent Police and Fire & Rescue Service attended the site to maintain order and extinguish the fire. The situation is now under control: a number of arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing. We are aware of one person with minor injuries, from which they are expected to make a full recovery.

We are clear that this type of action will not be tolerated, and the Home Office will support the police to take robust action against those vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.