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Immigrants (Detention Centres)

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 23 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been detained under Immigration Act powers at the Harmondsworth and Gatwick detention centres administered by Securicor Ltd. during 1977 and to the latest convenient date in 1978.

3,767 people were taken to the immigration service detention centre at Harmondsworth and detained in 1977 and 5,128 in 1978. The corresponding figures for the centre at Gatwick were 1,771 and 1,689.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the longest periods during which people were detained under Immigration Act powers at the Harmondsworth and Gatwick detention centres administered by Securicor Ltd. during 1977 and to the latest convenient date in 1978.

Harmondsworth is the only detention centre under the control of the immigration service where detention may exceed five days. The longest periods of detention there in 1977 and 1978 were 128 days and 198 days respectively. In the latter case the detention ended on 12 January 1979.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions during the second, third and fourth quarters of 1978, respectively, he has exercised his powers to order temporary release of people detained in prisons as alleged illegal immigrants pending consideration of representations made on their behalf.

During the second quarter of 1978, 56 persons detained in prison or elsewhere as illegal entrants solely on the authority of an immigration officer were released from detention and granted temporary admission pending consideration of their cases and any representations made on their behalf. The figures for the third and fourth quarters of 1978 are 62 and 59 respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those held in custody in (a) 1977 and (b) the first six months of 1978 while awaiting deportation or removal under the provisions of the Immigration Act were subsequently allowed to remain in the United Kingdom.

The number of persons who were released after being detained pending deportation was 70 in 1977 and 16 in the first six months of 1978.Information about the number of persons who were released after being detained pending removal under the provisions of the Immigration Act 1971 is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.