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Oakington Reception Centre

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to (a) change the composition of asylum applicants housed at the Immigration Reception centre, Oakington and (b)increase the maximum length of stay of residents. [112424]

The Oakington fast track facility enables asylum claims which, upon initial screening, appear to be straightforward and suitable for speedy decision making, to be determined in about seven to 10 days. If the decision is to refuse, the claimant may be removed, moved to a Removal Centre or released temporarily.There are no plans at present to alter this. Our aim at Oakington is to fast track claims as rapidly as possible. In some instances it may be considered necessary to detain at Oakington beyond the decision stage, non-suspensive appeal (NSA) cases where Judicial Review of a 'clearly unfounded' certificate is sought for example. It is not our intention to detain at Oakington any longer than is necessary.

Oakington is a designated place of detention and may also be used to house other persons under the published detention criteria.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many residents are housed at the Immigration Reception Centre, Oakington; and from which countries. [112427]

On 12 May 2003 there was a total of 302 persons detained at Oakington. They were from the following countries: (listed in order of the highest number): Turkey, Jamaica, Serbia and Montenegro, India, Albania, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Moldova, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Nigeria, Ukraine, Cameroon, China, Uganda, Latvia, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, Macedonia, Brazil, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Cyprus and Bulgaria.