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Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons it was decided to fingerprint visitors to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. (154209)

Visitors to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre are not fingerprinted. A new security system is being used which takes an electronic scan of a visitor's thumbprint and recognises a number of points on the thumb to enable the centre operator to maintain a record of who is in the visits room at any time. This ensures that only visitors leave at the end of a visit. The technology does not enable a fingerprint to be reproduced and the information on the system is not passed to either the Border and Immigration Agency or the Police. The thumbprint is not retained.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of prospective employees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre have been rejected in each of the last five years after being deemed unsuitable due to a background check. (154211)

The percentages of prospective employees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre who did not pass pre-employment checks in the last five years are as follows:

Percentage

2002

2

2003

2

2004

2

2005

3

2006

6

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what background checks prospective employees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre undergo. (154212)

Individuals seeking employment at any immigration removal centre, including Yarl’s Wood are required to undergo pre-employment checks on their immigration and financial background, counter-terrorist checks and criminal record checks to enhanced level are also carried out. Applicants must pass all of these checks before they can be accredited.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances detainees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre are placed in handcuffs. (154210)

Handcuffs can be applied to adult detainees following a risk assessment indicating that an individual presents a control or security risk, or in response to an immediate incident. The purpose of handcuffing is to reduce the risk of: absconding; harm to the public, other detainees or staff; damage to property; preventing removal from the United Kingdom; or attempting to prevent the removal of another detainee. Handcuffs are only used when necessary and not as a matter of routine.