Skip to main content

Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints about (a) the food served and (b) those serving it were made at Yarl's Wood Detention Centre in each of the last three years; and what action has been taken as a result. (144843)

Records of complaints by detainees about food are only readily available from January 2006. Since this date there have been 15 complaints about food and seven about servery staff. All complaints about the food have been addressed and detainees have received written responses. Staff concerned have been provided with advice and guidance regarding their conduct in the workplace but disciplinary action has not been necessary. Currently, two investigations into staff conduct are ongoing.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employees at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre were disciplined in each of the last three years; for what offences; what action resulted in each case; and if he will make a statement. (144847)

Information prior to July 2006 is not available under the Data Protection Act, which does not permit the storage of records relating to disciplinary action for more than 12 months.

From July 2006 to April 2007, the last 10 months that Global Solutions Limited (GSL) operated the centre under contract to the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), fifteen employees at Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre were subject to disciplinary procedures. The disciplinary offences were poor attendance, failure to report absence, unauthorised absence, lateness, failure to follow procedures, unprofessional conduct and harassment, displaying threatening behaviour to a colleague, discourteous to staff, sickness, inappropriate use of language and behaviour and leaving the site without authorisation. None of the disciplinary offences concerned actions towards detainees. The cases resulted in the issue of warnings to the staff concerned. These were in the form of verbal and written warnings.

Serco were awarded the contract for the operation of Yarl’s Wood in April 2007. There have since been two disciplinary investigations of staff, both for bringing mobile phones into the establishment. The members of staff were given verbal warnings.

Contractors are responsible for their own disciplinary procedures which are overseen in operation by Border and Immigration Agency staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints of (a) sexual and (b) racial intimidation have been registered by inmates of Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre in the last 12 months; and what the result has been of investigations into such complaints. (144849)

From January 2006 there are no records of complaints of sexual intimidation. There have been six complaints referred to the Race Relations Liaison Officer, five of which were assessed as not being of a racist nature. The sixth was withdrawn by the detainee and the Race Relations Liaison Officer satisfied himself that this complaint was not of a racist nature and decided not to pursue the matter further.